Written BY: Mahdi Rezai
Gender apartheid typically refers to a situation where an individual’s gender becomes a criterion for accessing resources, opportunities, and social, economic, and political rights. Policies based on this form of apartheid affect various segments of society and undermine it from within.
Gender apartheid, commonly referred to as gender-based violence, is a manifestation of crimes against humanity. It not only widens gender disparities in society but also creates a humanitarian crisis in gender-divided communities.
A prominent example of the consequences of gender apartheid is Afghanistan in 2022 and 2023. It ranks at the bottom of the global list regarding gender inequality and is the only country facing such dimensions of a humanitarian crisis.
Erosion of Social Trust: Crimes against humanity erode social trust. Individuals and communities witnessing these crimes lose trust in systems and relevant organizations due to a lack of belief in justice and human rights. Most importantly, distrust among different genders undermines collaboration and reduces cooperation between women and men to the lowest level.
Humanitarian Crisis Creation: Crimes against humanity can lead to humanitarian crises. Millions are displaced from their homes, seeking refuge elsewhere. Youth and children become vulnerable and face psychological harm, while societies, as a whole, come under immense pressure.
Lack of Accountability and Injustice: Crimes against humanity often occur due to a lack of accountability and justice against the perpetrators. This leads to victim despair and helplessness, and the perpetrators continue committing inhuman crimes even more vigorously.
Economic Inequality: Gender apartheid leads to economic inequality between genders. Women usually have limited access to economic resources and employment opportunities. This may result in reduced income for women, women’s poverty, and their dependence on men for basic needs. Economic inequality harms women financially, socially, and psychologically, limiting their avenues for progress and development.
Undermining Women’s Rights: In a gender apartheid system, women systematically have their fundamental rights denied. They may face restrictions in accessing education, employment, political and economic freedoms, and decision-making rights concerning themselves and their families. These discriminations diminish women’s capacity and power in society and erode women’s confidence and capabilities in the community.
In conclusion, crimes against humanity have severe and devastating consequences with long-term impacts on both societies and individuals. Therefore, preventing such crimes and ensuring justice for the perpetrators is crucial to mitigate these consequences.
Afghanistan, with its prevalence of gender apartheid, has transformed into a society marked by a deep humanitarian crisis, widespread human rights violations, insecurity, and various dimensions of social distrust. The persistence of this situation is deeply concerning.