Taliban’s treatment of Afghan women, girls may amount to gender apartheid: UN expert

Kabul [Afghanistan], June 20 (ANI): An United Nations expert on Monday said the Taliban’s treatment of Afghanistan’s women and girls may amount to gender apartheid, given how severely the de facto authorities of the country continue to violate their rights, Khaama Press reported.

The Khaama Press News Agency is an online news service for Afghanistan.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, expressed similar concerns on the opening day of the Council’s summer session, adding that the de facto authorities had “dismantled the most fundamental principles of human rights, particularly for women and girls”.

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva: “Grave, systematic and institutionalized discrimination against women and girls is at the heart of Taliban ideology and rule, which also gives rise to concerns that they may be responsible for gender apartheid.”

The UN defines gender apartheid as “economic and social sexual discrimination against individuals because of their gender or sex.”

“We have pointed to the need for more exploration of gender apartheid, which is not currently an international crime but could become so,” Bennett told reporters on the sidelines of the Council, as per Khaama Press.

“It appears if one applies the definition of apartheid, which at the moment is for race, to the situation in Afghanistan and use sex instead of race, then there seem to be strong indications pointing towards that,” he said.

Since the Taliban seized power in August 2021, the group banned women from going to schools, and later in December last year, they banned women from going to universities and working with aid agencies.