A report authored by the UN special rapporteur for Afghanistan Richard Bennett, and the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls, indicated "widespread and systematic discrimination to which women and girls in Afghanistan are subjected.”
According to the report, between September 2021 and May 2023, more than 50 edicts were issued regarding women and girls by the Islamic Emirate, which has "deprived Afghan women of the right to education, work, and participation in social and political life."
“One of the most illustrative examples of the systematic discrimination against women and girls in Afghanistan today is the relentless issuance of edicts, decrees, declarations and directives restricting their rights, including their freedom of movement, attire and behaviour, and their access to education, work, health and justice,” the report reads.
Among the topics covered in this report are the issue of education, suicides, depression, forced marriages, and the sale of children in Afghanistan.
“In their totality, the edicts significantly limit women’s and girls’ ability to engage in society, have access to basic services and to earn a living,” the report further stated.
"we need women who are doctors, engineers, lawyers, and advocates for the rights of each and every person in this society,” said Alamtab RAsouli, a women’s rights activist.
According to the report, a number of protesting women were released from the Islamic Emirate prisons under the condition of stopping the street protests.
However, the Islamic Emirate called this report unfair and baseless and added that the Islamic and cultural values of Afghanistan have been ignored in this report.
According to the Islamic Emirate's spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, women have good positions in the Islamic Emirate and attempts are being made to hire them in the fields where they are needed.
"We don't consider this report fair and correct because they didn't consider the facts. They just tried to repeat some things for the purpose of propaganda without considering the cultural, religious and Islamic values and the environment of Afghanistan. They might think that Afghanistan is like one of the Western countries, where women are doing what they call their rights, it is not the same here in Afghanistan,” Mujahid noted.
"Women's rights must be upheld in order to address social problems and bring about peace, progress, and stability,” said Sayed Javad Sajaddi, a university lecturer.
The Special Rapporteur and the Working Group interviewed a total of 79 Afghans (67 women and 12 men), of whom 63 (51 women and 12 men) were inside Afghanistan. They included human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, academics, entrepreneurs, teachers, students, social service providers and businesswomen. In addition, they conducted a survey of 2,112 Afghan women across 18 provinces in March 2023, and drew on the insights of a further 159 women focus group participants on the survey results in 11 provinces.
The special rapporteur is expected to present this report on Monday at the meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council.