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UN rights Chief stresses priority of women’s rights in Afghanistan engagement

By Fidel Rahmati

March 6, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

In a recent declaration, Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, emphasized the importance of prioritizing women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan. His remarks were aimed at all stakeholders involved in the Afghan context.

Türk addressed the 55th session of the Human Rights Council on March 4, where he pointed out the extensive violations of rights faced by women and girls in the nation.

Echoing Türk’s concerns, Richard Bennett, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan, highlighted the severe state of human rights there, with a particular focus on the plight of women and girls.

Bennett stressed the necessity for any engagement with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to fundamentally respect human rights, singling out women’s rights as paramount.

He warned that failing to prioritize women’s rights could be perceived as a lack of commitment to the cause of women globally, underscoring the broader implications of the situation in Afghanistan.

On February 29, Bennett presented a report to the UN Human Rights Council detailing the continuing deterioration of human rights in Afghanistan, more than two years after the Taliban assumed control.

In addition to human rights issues, Türk also expressed alarm over the suppression of media and journalism by the Taliban, including actions like banning photographs of people in Kandahar and preventing women from participating in radio programs in Khost.

Despite these reports, Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesperson of the de facto administration denies committing human rights abuses, claiming a commitment to women’s rights and accusing Western countries of leveraging these accusations to exert pressure on Afghanistan’s government.



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