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Afghanistan: Never Underestimate Women

A group of Afghan women march together through the streets.

Never underestimate the fragility of women’s rights, nor the power of women’s rights defenders to transform society if supported. A statement from Equality Now on the recent events in Afghanistan.

In the last twenty years, women’s rights should have been solidified in Afghan law and a gender-equal government established. Not only to protect women and girls from the many harms they are now facing, again, under the Taliban, but also when a government truly prioritizes gender equality, it prioritizes peace and security. The international community has to acknowledge their culpability in this situation and take all steps possible to support and protect Afghan women’s human rights defenders and the progress they have fought so hard for.

Like our partners Musawah we ask the following:

  • Countries neighboring Afghanistan to keep their borders open and ensure safe passage to fleeing refugees.
  • We demand that all and any efforts to resolve this political crisis that has led to tragic humanitarian devastation to involve Afghan women and the women’s human rights movement as central partners and coalition members in any effort to respond to this conflict.
  • We recognize that everyone is also trying to find ways to be useful in these devastating times. We ask donors, both individuals and organizations, to support the efforts of organizations like Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, Asia & Pacific and Women for Afghan Women to provide resources and ensure the safety of women human rights defenders in Afghanistan.