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EWL Statement on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan

[Brussels 17 August 2021] We see with horror the Taliban taking over Afghanistan, and stand in solidarity with all women and girls in the country. There is an immediate threat of murder and violence from the Taliban for women activists, women’s rights defenders, women in the civil society and all women entrepreneurs, researchers and decision-makers in Afghanistan. It breaks our hearts to foresee the rollback of women’s rights in the country after years of hard work by Afghan women to access their fundamental rights to education, economic independence and self-determination in the past decades. These rights are enshrined in the EU’s core value of equality between women and men which the EU should seek to protect in all its actions and policies.

Therefore, together with our members throughout the EU, we call on the EU and all its Member States to take immediate action to ensure the rights of all women and girls in Afghanistan are protected.

Reka Safrany, EWL President: "We are deeply worried about the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan under the regime of the Taliban. All our thoughts go to them in these terrible times.

The EU and its Member States must take immediate actions to ensure safety and protection to women’s rights defenders at risk of immediate retaliation, by providing them with safe routes, simplified procedures and access to asylum. All deportations to Afghanistan should also be immediately stopped.

The EU and its Member States must also use all means to ensure women’s and girls’ rights are respected in Afghanistan in the weeks or months to come, by sending a strong signal that no violation of women’s rights will be tolerated. Close monitoring of the situation and support to women’s rights organisations in the region must be immediately put in place so that sanctions are taken and the International Criminal Court involved in case of breach of women’s rights and international humanitarian law.

Inaction is not an option."

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