An article from Andrea ten Gonzalez | Professional dedicated to feminist geopolitics in favor of human rights and mental health, especially the protection of minors
Officially, the Republic of Afghanistan is a country located in Central Asia, bordering Pakistan to the south and east, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north, and the People’s Republic of China to the northeast via the Wakhan Corridor. A country that many aspire to dominate, although achieving it is a difficult task, meaning that it is in the middle of a crossroads.
In 1994, in the midst of great instability in Afghan politics and after overcoming the Soviet invasion that occupied the decade between 1979-1989, the story of the Taliban, descendants of those who fought in the holy war (the Mujahideen), began. Their power increased exponentially, leading them to capture Kabul in 1996, creating for the first time the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as we are told in digital France24, a theocratic regime that soon attracted international attention for its methods of repression and rule over Afghans , who refused to follow the imposed dogmas.
Until 2001, their atrocities, violating all human rights, did not go unnoticed in the rest of the world, voices were raised against the inhumane practices being carried out, condemned from abroad and raising alarm.
In 2001, Afghanistan served as a safe conduct and training camp for some terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden, who made history after carrying out the attacks on the Twin Towers (New York) and the Pentagon (Washington). on September 11, 2001. This was the reason that precipitated the invasion of Afghanistan after the Taliban government refused to hand over Bin Laden.
Many Taliban soldiers had to flee and go into exile in Pakistan, which caused a period in which they tried to stabilize Afghanistan to make it a pro-Western and allied nation, but the difficulties were great.
During Barack Obama’s tenure, the presence of troops in the territory has multiplied, but the American increase in spending has been exceeded at high levels and insecurity is maintained in the place, as the Taliban continues to increase its control in the countryside.
Despite efforts, including training the Afghan army against the Taliban in order to gradually leave the nation, the US withdrawal marked the return of the Taliban. In 2020, the Doha Accords were signed with Donald Trump, which guaranteed the withdrawal of the US military.
With Joe Biden, there was a real breakdown in the withdrawal of Western troops when the Taliban took over Kabul weeks before the date set for their final withdrawal, August 31, 2021.
Human rights as currency
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was prepared by representatives of all regions of the world, proclaimed on December 10, 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris, as a common ideal for all people and nations. Translated into more than 500 languages, the set of rights that must be protected around the world is presented for the first time.
The UN Special Rapporteur points out that Afghanistan faces a number of human rights challenges that seriously affect the population. Richard Bennett pointed out that the Taliban have failed to recognize and address the extent of the abuses of basic safeguards, many of which have been committed because of them, in particular “the Taliban are at a crossroads: either society becomes more stable and all Afghans enjoy freedom and human rights, or becomes increasingly restrictive,” he said.
Clashes broke out in the northern provinces and Panjshir between de facto security forces and fighters linked to the National Resistance Front, an anti-Taliban group. Complaints based on violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial executions, torture and forced displacement, were reported.
There are endless pages of reports telling of intimidation, harassment, attacks, arrests, murders and disappearances of journalists, prosecutors, judges and members of civil society.
Upon coming to power, the Taliban revealed their promise to respect and protect the human rights of all people, including girls and women, a promise they broke from the first minute.
Straight in a female key
Sima Bacchus, Executive Director of UN Women, expressed her concern that the arrival of the Taliban “decades of progress in gender equality and women’s rights disappeared in a matter of months. We must continue to act together, united and united, continue to push for safeguards so that the wide range of women’s rights is respected.”
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expressed deep concern at the announcement by the de facto government in that country that women should cover their faces in public and stay at home, only going out when necessary. The provision also states that if women violate the ordinance, the men in their families will be punished.
In 2021, the Taliban took power and ensured that all women would enjoy their freedoms in the workplace, in education and in society. The reality turned out to be quite different and their basic rights were violated by the Taliban.
Currently, the female gender in Afghanistan is deprived of natural rights, which is why numerous organizations, politicians, city councils and councils from all over the world demonstrated to express their deep discomfort with the situation in Afghanistan.
Press releases on the new regulations say women will have to wear burqas that cover them from head to toe, showing only their eyes, as they had to do during the period when the Taliban ruled the country from 1996 to 2001.
As Amnesty International reports, the new outrage against women comes on top of girls not being allowed to attend secondary school, effective last September, shortly after the Taliban took control of the country. With this mandate, teachers were also barred from returning to their jobs.
The moves were widely condemned around the world and undermined Taliban pledges to follow international standards to build positive relations worldwide.
In addition to this, his treatment of Afghan women, who were completely subordinated to Taliban rule and lost virtually all their rights, making them always dependent on a man, was well known.
Amnesty International has launched a Banned Girls campaign, denouncing the human rights abuses of babies and women as a result of the Taliban’s takeover.
Together with Amnesty International, ADAVAS León, AISPAZ, HOAC León, Prometeo and Greenpeace León, they showed their deep concern about this situation and raised their voices so that people from the political sphere condemn these terrorist acts.
The City Council of León, in its minutes of the regular session held by the Municipal Plenum on July 28, 2022, records through an institutional declaration its support for the protection of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, underlining the seriousness of the problem and calling on the international community to support Afghan women and to insist that the Taliban respect the rights of women and girls.
In the Municipal Council itself, they claim that the rights achieved in the last 20 years are about to be lost and show the non-acceptance of the measures that prohibit women from going to work, children over 12 from attending school and gender segregation in universities.
Leon makes suggestions such as allocating sufficient specific funds and implementing programs and projects for women’s rights, ensuring that refugee status is recognized, ensuring that the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has the resources, personnel and diplomatic support, among others.
This institutional declaration was approved unanimously.
The death of Mahsa Amini on September 16, as RTVE tells us, reports from independent doctors show that she died of blows and not of previous illnesses, as was communicated to the public by the authorities, marks a complete change in the struggle for women’s rights in Afghanistan.
The young woman detained by the morality police for wearing her veil, which fell on the street, is the seed of a whole uprising of women from all over the world who condemn the violation of women’s rights.
The first protests in Iran’s streets left hundreds dead, according to the NGO Iran Human Rights, and included a total of 19 minors. Digital EITB tells us that two days ago was one of the worst days since Amini’s death, to which was added the complaint of the killing of Sarina Esmailzadeh, a 16-year-old protester.
On October 4, during the debate on the protests in Iran, MEP Open AlSahlani cut her hair in the Parliament building in Strasbourg in protest and condemnation of the situation faced by women. This gesture created a fad in women’s clubs around the world, whereby thousands of women cut off strands of their hair in support of women and girls in Afghanistan.
International Day of the Girl
Today, October 11, 2022, is the International Day of the Girl Child. A girl who is born with rights that are inviolable. A revolution has begun in Afghanistan that crosses borders and will not stop. The fight for freedom of expression, protest and life has no end. As long as a girl is deprived of any of the freedoms that belong to her, there is no rest in society.
We must all speak out against the injustices of the world or we become complicit in a slaughter that intends to continue with a heteropatriarchal system that disenfranchises those who should be the object of maximum protection.
Education is a good that no one has the right to take away from you. Education gives you wings, critical thinking, resource management, empowerment, well-being… Minors are the future of society and girls are a part of it.