Despite accusing the Taliban of systematic oppression of women and girls and their exclusion from public life, the UN human rights chief urged the Taliban on Friday to uphold the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, which she claimed were being violated to an unprecedented degree.
“Since the Taliban took power, women and girls are experiencing the most significant and rapid roll-back in enjoyment of their rights across the board in decades,” said the UN Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet. “Their future will be even darker, unless something changes, quickly.”
Michelle Bachelet stated in her opening remarks to the debate on Friday that women are experiencing deep depression as a result of the growing number of restrictions on their ability to move and dress.
According to Bachelet, as a result of a decision made by the de facto authorities of the Taliban that assumed control in August 2021, women-run businesses have been closed down and 1.2 million girls no longer have access to secondary education.
Richard Bennett, the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Afghanistan, spoke at the Human Rights Council as well. He characterized the Taliban’s terrifying attempt to render women “invisible, by excluding them almost entirely from society.”
Fawzia Koofi, a member of the former Afghan delegation for peace negotiations with the Taliban, stated that “Afghanistan is the only place in the world that women are basically literally invisible — the second class of their citizens.”
The Human Rights discussion takes place while 3,000 religious scholars and tribal elders assemble in Kabul for the Taliban’s grand gathering, where men are representing women.