The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul, which led to the fall of the Afghan government, shocked the international community in August 2021 and left us with one of the largest humanitarian rescue operations in history. After six months, the social, humanitarian and political dimensions of the Afghan crisis, and its serious gender implications can be better understood. This year should be the year when we really support and fight for the rights and freedoms of Afghan women both outside and inside the country.
Women are undoubtedly the main victims of the Taliban regime’s seizure of power and the restoration of institutional violence against women. They have played a leading role in the progress in Afghanistan over the past 20 years. Hundreds of Afghan women activists, human rights defenders and professionals are now in exile, dispersed across Europe and other continents, following the Taliban takeover. Meanwhile, millions of women and girls remain in Afghan territory, forced to hide or maintain a low profile for fear of reprisals, suffering continuous violations of their fundamental rights and freedoms.
These women have been targeted by the Taliban regime because of their key role in democracy. The international community cannot leave them behind.