FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19. 2021
Bethesda, MD -
We at the Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) join the many organizations and individuals calling for the United Nations Security Council and the international community to take appropriate measures to safeguard the human rights and humanitarian needs of the people of Afghanistan.
The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is a tragedy that will reverberate well beyond its borders for years. We fear the Taliban's reliance on violence to control populations and hold onto power will impact generations of Afghans, leading to an increase in violence in communities and families. We wish to draw attention to the threat to the rights and welfare of all Afghan people, with particular focus on women and girls
In the last several decades, women in Afghanistan have achieved hard-won victories in education, job opportunities, freedom of movement, and political leadership. Afghan women-led the successful campaign for women’s equality in the 2004 constitution, and in 2009 their efforts resulted in the adoption of Afghanistan’s Elimination of Violence Against Women Law. Over the last year, Afghan women doctors and nurses have responded with alacrity to the COVID-19 pandemic, with women making up half of the International Organization for Migration’s healthcare teams in Afghanistan. Women’s achievements have made life better for many men and women in the country, and have ensured that a new generation of women and girls is moving Afghanistan towards greater equality. The rights of women must be preserved to ensure the freedom and dignity of all Afghan people.
Today, women’s rights and democracy are contracting across the globe, and extremist forces are gaining ground. How the international community responds to any encroachment on human rights will be watched and studied by illiberal leaders the world over. If radical restrictions on the rights of women are allowed to occur without an international response, extremists in every corner of the globe will take note.
Backsliding on women’s rights in Afghanistan could lead to backsliding in other regions. Silence and inaction in response will harm us all.
Tori Pell, Program Associate for Communications and Advocacy
Phone: +1 301-652-2774