Given the severity with which the de facto government of the nation continues to abuse their rights, a UN expert said on Monday that the Taliban’s treatment of Afghan women and girls may amount to gender apartheid.
On the first day of the Council’s summer session, Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, echoed similar worries and added that the de facto rulers had “dismantled the most fundamental principles of human rights, particularly for women and girls.”
According to UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, “Grave, systematic and institutionalized discrimination against women and girls is at the heart of Taliban ideology and rule, which also raises concerns that they may be accountable for gender apartheid,” said the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Gender discrimination, according to the UN, is “economic and social sexual discrimination against individuals because of their gender or sex.”
Bennett told reporters on the fringes of the Council, “We have pointed to the need for more investigation into gender apartheid, which is not currently an international crime but could become one.”
“There seem to be strong indications pointing towards that if one applies the definition of apartheid, which at the moment is for race, to the situation in Afghanistan and uses sex instead of race,” said the author.