UN criticizes ‘institutionalized, systematic’ oppression of Afghan women

Geneva, Jun 15 (EFE).- Taliban-ruled Afghanistan has been witnessing an “institutionalized and systematic” oppression of women, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Wednesday.

The situation for women in Afghanistan is “critical” as some 1.1 million girls have been prevented from attending high school, while the wearing veil remains mandatory and women struggle to access the labor market, Michelle Bachelet said.

“There are no opportunities for women to participate in public and political life; and their freedom of movement has been severely restricted,” she told the UN Human Rights Council.

Bachelet, who met the Taliban government during a March visit, said that the authorities that swept to power in August last year “are far” from respecting women’s fundamental rights despite various international treaties to end gender discrimination.

“The people of Afghanistan are experiencing some of the darkest moments of a generation,” she said referring to the Taliban’s return to power and economic, humanitarian and human rights crises.

Fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and opinion, free association and participation in public affairs have deteriorated, Bachelet said.

“To move Afghan society towards peace, the representation of all Afghans in policy and decision-making processes will be crucial,” she said.

“This includes listening to the voices of women and girls. It includes heeding the calls of religious and ethnic minorities, in particular those who have historically faced discrimination, marginalization and violence,” she added. EFE


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