Por Soraya Rodríguez Ramos

Updated information on the situation after the Taliban regime’s seizure of power in Afghanistan

Women at the Forefront
IN AFGHANISTAN

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.

Publication of Afghan Women at the Forefront in 2021

Afghan Women at the forefront 2021

In this publication, we analyse the situation of Afghan women since the fall of Kabul and the seizure of power by the Taliban regime, as well as the role of the European Union and the failure of the evacuation of people at risk to Afghanistan.

We also interview three Afghan women refugees in Europe. Khadija Amin, Massouda Kohistani and Rahela Sidiqi are three exceptional women, whose biographies attest to their enormous involvement and the sacrifices and risks they face for their work in defending women’s rights in Afghanistan. Although they are now in exile, they want to continue fighting for the future of their country from Europe.

Testimony of two Afghan women, refugees in Spain after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

Interview with Kohistani and Amin: the faces and voices of Afghan women

Massouda Kohistani and Khadija Amin fled Afghanistan for fear of repression by the Taliban. They took refuge in Spain, where they met. Kohistani is an activist for human and women’s rights. Following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, she supported networks of women who wanted to be evacuated and participated in organising the first protests by university women. For her part, Khadija, after working for 4 years as a journalist for different Afghan media, she then was as a TV host and reporter in Afghanistan, until the time when she was not allowed to work any longer. Unlike them, the vast majority of people have not been fortunate enough to leave the country and are still under the Taliban regime.

Women at the forefront

Niñas afganas
Afghan refugees in Iran. Photo credit: EU/ECHO Pierre Prakash

Women at the forefront is a space for reflection led by Spanish MEP Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, whose aim is to make visible and recognise the role of women in different areas of political, economic and social life around the world and to contribute to the recognition of the fundamental role of women in building a fairer and more equal society.