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Open Letter to the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs

Find below the statement of the EWL member Czech Women’s Lobby.

[Prague, 20 August 2021]

Dear Minister,

The Czech Women’s Lobby, together with the other 30 member organizations of the European Women’s Lobby, calls on the European Union and all its Member States to take immediate action to ensure the protection of the rights of all women and girls in Afghanistan.

"We are deeply concerned about the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. All our thoughts are directed towards them in these terrible times," said Réka Sáfrány, President of the European Women’s Lobby.

The Czech Women’s Lobby expresses solidarity with all Afghan women and girls. The Taliban was in imminent danger of death and violence by women activists, women’s rights activists, women in civil society, all businesswomen, researchers and women decision-makers.

"It breaks our heart to watch the deterioration of the position of Afghan women after years of hard work by these women in accessing their fundamental rights to education, economic independence and self-determination," said Hana Stelzerová, director of the Czech Women’s Lobby.

These rights are enshrined in the fundamental values of equality between women and men in the EU, which the EU should seek to protect in all its activities and policies. The EU and its Member States must take immediate action to ensure the protection and safety of 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 stopped immediately.

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

Kind regards,

Marta Smolíková, the chairwoman of Czech Women’s Lobby

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