After almost two decades of military US-led coalition in Afghanistan, the Taliban have seized back control of the country, as US troops are exiting, leaving the country in a tottering economic, political and security state. The years of military presence and mock negotiations led to having the future of Afghani people inching closer to the abyss. And in the midst of this chaos, women and girls are suffering the most. These last 20 years have marked a relentless struggle by the Afghani women for their rights to education, social and economic rights, and above all, their basic human rights for protection against the unspeakable practices that the previous Taliban regime had systematically applied against them. Thus, it is beyond tragic to see these same women and the generations to which they have given their legacy, again at the highest risk of being the primary targets. These women are currently hunted by Taliban fighters and are literally trapped, with all borders crossings now closed or controlled by the Taliban. Reports of rampant war crimes against women, include public beatings and flogging of women, sexual violence, and forced marriage threatening, kidnapping, torturing, and assassination of women engaged for equality, human rights and democracy. Therefore, it is essential for the international community to stand together, to work together and act as one to protect women’s lives, human rights for women and men to health, education, work, build more pressure on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to ensure that human rights of Afghan people are being respected. The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has called upon the Taliban and all parties to respect and protect international humanitarian law and the rights and freedoms of all persons. He has implored the Security Council to use “every means” at their disposal to call for an immediate cessation of violence and respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. But UN should show some power and strength to deliver! At times where walls are being built, enlarged, or fortified, the international women’s rights civil society organisations are determined to strengthen their support and solidarity with the Afghan women and girls. Appealing to their governments to welcome Afghan refugees, they underline that it is of utmost importance to prioritise the urgent evacuation of women’s rights defenders, support and fund the work of Afghan women human rights defenders and peacebuilders, ensure prevention of all forms of gender-based violence, hold the Taliban publicly accountable for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses, and ensure paths to seeking asylum are fully open to Afghan citizens. EuroMed Feminist Initiative join our voices to those of the international feminist movement to ask the governments of all countries to provide concrete support to the Afghan population for them to decide, in their diversity, the future of their country in respect of all fundamental rights for women and men.
EuroMed Feminist Initiative EFI is a policy network that encompasses women’s rights organizations from the two shores of the Mediterranean and advocates for gender equality and women’s rights as inseparable from democracy building and citizenship, for political solutions to all conflicts, and for the right of peoples to self-determination. EuroMed Feminist Initiative seeks to improve and promote women’s rights as universal human rights, the value of gender equality and the use of non-violent means to solve conflicts. Our criterion and position align with the international resolutions and conventions and regional instruments promoting the universality of women’s rights and strengthening women's impact and voices in conflict resolution.