PES Women: humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan calls for solidarity and immediate action to safeguard lives and rights of women and girls

17/08/2021

Afghan women take part in a gathering at a hall in Kabul on 2 August 2021 against the human rights violations on women by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Photo: AFP

Afghan women take part in a gathering at a hall in Kabul on 2 August 2021 against the human rights violations on women by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Photo: AFP

With the rapid seizing of control by the Taliban in Afghanistan since May, and the city of Kabul last weekend, many lives are at risk. Safe passage out of the country for anyone in danger must be ensured. For those unable to escape, a dark future lies ahead, particularly for women and girls.

Women in Afghanistan are the most at-risk population in the country. Under the previous Taliban regime, which ended in 2001, women were deprived of their freedoms and rights. Today, they are at risk of losing them once again. Women’s achievements, their right to participate in public life, to enjoy an education and a career, to express themselves and move freely are in immediate danger.

PES Women President Zita Gurmai said:

“The systematic and brutal oppression that will reign over the Afghan population will not only destroy the freedoms women gained and fought hard for over the last 20 years, but will put them at risk of being beaten, raped, sold, married off against their will and locked into their homes.

“The Taliban’s return is catastrophic for women of all generations, and we must act now to support them and show international solidarity with our sisters in Afghanistan. We cannot let them pay for a political war that men started.”

PES Women call on the international community to not turn a blind eye to this crisis, which will be carried out at the expense of women’s lives. Women’s-rights advocates who have fought for a diverse, open and democratic Afghan society must be saved from the brutalities of the Taliban. Europe must stand together against all attempts to retrench women’s rights in the name of fundamentalism.