Khatira Ahmadi (L) and Tehmina (R), Afghan presenters at Tolo TV read news at the studio in Kabul, Afghanistan, 23 May 2022. EPA-EFE: FILE/STRINGER

UN calls on Taliban to end violence against women

Kabul, Nov 25 (EFE).- The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Friday called on the Taliban government to immediately end violence against women and the general deterioration of women’s rights, which have been especially diminished since the fundamentalists took power last year.

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, UNAMA warned of the alarming loss of rights that women have suffered in the past year in Afghanistan, which it said has “one of the highest rates of violence against women globally.”

Afghan girls take classes at Ekhlas Center, a private educational institution providing free education for nearly 2,000 female students above the sixth grade, in Kabul, Afghanistan, 09 November 2022. EPA-EFE: FILE/STRINGER

Since the Taliban returned to power it has decreed women’s rights

Since taking Kabul in August 2021, the Taliban has decreed numerous measures against women’s rights, such as banning girls from attending high school, restricting women from most fields of work and imposing the burqa.

Some restrictions reinforce traditional social norms that condone the use of violence as a form of discipline and control, creating an environment where violence against women and girls is normalized, denounced UNAMA.

Added to the loss of these rights is the “marked deterioration” in access to services for survivors of gender-based violence just as demand for them is “higher than ever,” the statement continued.

Re-establishing these lost rights, UNAMA said, is essential for stability, prosperity and peace in the country, which is mired in serious humanitarian and economic crises.

“The fundamental rights of Afghan women need to be protected and concrete steps need to be taken for an enabling environment which is free from all forms of violence,” said UNAMA chief Roza Otunbayeva. “Protecting the rights of women is a crucial factor for stability, prosperity and any lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

The UN mission added that “in the absence of laws and policies that protect and promote gender equality and women’s rights, and the introduction of decrees and edicts that contribute to systematically erasing women from public and political life, the underlying social norms that perpetuate inequality have been emboldened.”

It called for “efforts to invest in both the protection and empowerment of women and girls in Afghanistan.” EFE