Rina Amiri, US special envoy for Afghan women, girls, and human rights, said that the "Taliban" will not have their demands taken seriously unless they adopt a new strategy for women and girls in Afghanistan.
Speaking at a meeting titled “Combating Gender Apartheid: The Situation of Women and Girls in Afghanistan” Amiri said: “When we talk to the Taliban ... we say you are not going to move in a way that you seek until you address these rights.”
In the meeting, the UN special rapporteur for Afghanistan human rights, Richard Bennett, said that Afghan women and girls' “trust deficit can only be bridged by concrete actions not just by future declarations of sympathy or condemnation.”
The UN special rapporteur in the meeting expressed concerns over Afghans' mental health and said that “recognition and normalization by the international community of the situation in which women and girls' rights have been decimated is now the greatest fear” for women and girls.
Richard Bennett said that “Afghan women must be meaningfully included with policy decisions ... made within Afghanistan or by the international community.”
“Many in this room have helped to carry out, to call this action forward investigating and documenting the systematic erasure of women’s rights in Afghanistan. There have been reports submitted to the human rights council. There have been pleas to the international criminal court to explore gender apartheid-- does not the international community have an obligation to uphold the human rights treaties which Afghanistan is a party and to pursue accountability for the perpetrators?" asked Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security.
The Chargé d'Affaires of the Afghanistan Permanent Mission to the UN, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, in the meeting also criticized the imposition of restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan.
“We are deeply concerned about the current situation in my country, particularly the systematic erasure of women and girls in society and violation of their fundamental human rights in Afghanistan. It is a matter of far-reaching consequences not only for the individuals affected but for the progress and prosperity of our entire society,” Faiq noted.
However, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the Islamic Emirate, said that there is no gender apartheid in Afghanistan and that the Islamic Emirate is obliged to uphold women's rights.
"Apartheid does not exist here at all. There is no gender discrimination in Islam. The Islamic Sharia has given rights to the citizens of Afghanistan, whether male or female, the Islamic Emirate is obliged to give these rights to the men and women of this country,” Mujahid said.
Earlier, a number of representatives of world countries expressed their concern about imposing restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan at the meeting called " Global Solidarity with Afghan Women and Girls" at the United Nations headquarters.