KABUL, Afghanistan – At a gathering in Istanbul, Turkey, a number of human rights activists called on the international community to pay attention to the rights of women, particularly girls’ access to education, in Afghanistan.
The remarks came at a time Afghan women, including girl’s education, continued to suffer under the Islamic Emirate leadership since the takeover last August.
“For how long will the problem of Afghan women continue like this?” questioned Asifa Saba, a human rights defender who attended the event, as TOLOnews quoted.
However, some participants believe that such gatherings will not bear any practical result unless female activists who are fighting for their rights inside Afghanistan will be part of these meetings.
“The gathering, which took place in Ankara, will not bring any result and I am sure it was just at the level of a meeting,” said Zholia Parsa, a women’s rights defender. “There has been no attention toward the situation of Afghanistan’s women.”
But the Islamic Emirate said its leadership has ensured rights of women across the country, adding they are a part of government bodies, actively participating in various roles.
“The women are included in a lot of government positions where they are needed and they continue their work,” Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said. “Some of them who are not provided with work, their salaries are being paid at their homes.”
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Last month, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released a report, outlining the human rights situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover last August.
The report summarizes UNAMA’s findings with regards to the protection of civilians, extrajudicial killings, torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and detentions, the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, fundamental freedoms and the situation in places of detention.
While the Taliban leadership have taken some steps seemingly aimed at the protection and promotion of human rights, including amnesty for former government officials and security force members, they bear responsibility for a broad range of human rights violations, according to the findings.
“It is beyond time for all Afghans to be able to live in peace and rebuild their lives after 20 years of armed conflict,” said Markus Potzel, Acting Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Our monitoring reveals that despite the improved security situation since 15 August, the people of Afghanistan, in particular women and girls, are deprived of the full enjoyment of their human rights.”
The erosion of women’s rights has been one of the most notable aspects of the de facto administration, where women and girls have particularly been restricted from obtaining education and living a normal public life in the country.
“The education and participation of women and girls in public life is fundamental to any modern society. The relegation of women and girls to the home denies Afghanistan the benefit of the significant contributions they have to offer. Education for all is not only a basic human right, it is the key to progress and development of a nation,” said the UN envoy.
But the Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, defying the latest findings by the UNAMA, said the report is “inaccurate” and there are no extrajudicial killings, as TOLOnews reported. If anyone commits such, they will be punished based on Sharia law, calling the report a “propaganda.”