Women And Girls Rights in Afghanistan

“I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. … We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back”. – Malala Yousafzai

Written by Maricarmen Robles
Edited by Alexandra Bravo Schroth

After taking over the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, on the 15th of August of 2021, the Taliban has claimed victory, ending a war that lasted 20 years and leaving hundreds of thousands of deaths in its wake (Euronews, 2019). The triumph of the Taliban represents a high threat against Afghan’s human rights, especially for women, girls, and minorities. 

It is essential to highlight that violence against women, which is considered a crime against humanity, did not start with the victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The threat against Afghan women and girls is a continuous reality that has only worsened over the years.

The issue started with the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1979 and the subsequent rise of the Mujahideen, which led to the consequent rise of the Islamic State of Afghanistan in the early 1990s; women and girls were subjected to continuous discrimination, marginalization, and severe restrictions in access to education, health care and employment (Gender Concerns International, n.d.). 

Between 1996 to 2001, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, and during that period, women were unable to work or have contact with men that were not blood relatives; they were also forced to wear a burqa while out in public. If women were caught breaking those rules, they were faced severe punishments, including imprisonment, torture, or even death (D.W, 2021). With the return of the Taliban in 2021, the situation of women reaches its worst moment in the country; the primary concern is that women’s rights will be continuously suppressed until finally disappearing at all.

All around the world, women’s advocacy organizations are raising their voices against the violation of Afghan’s human rights and spreading the word about how to help. To be informed of what is happening with Afghan women and girls, one can follow Women for Women, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that supports female survivors of war.


D. W. (2021, August 14th). Afghan women’s RIGHTS ACTIVIST: The TALIBAN ‘will come and kill M.E. Retrieved the 16th of August of 2021.  https://www.dw.com/en/afghan-womens-rights-activist-the-taliban-will-come-and-kill-me/a-58861827.

Euronews. (2019, July 11). 18 Años De Guerra en Afganistán:147.000 muertos. Retrieved the 16th of August of 2021. https://es.euronews.com/2019/07/11/18-anos-de-guerra-en-afganistan-147-000-muertos.

Gender Concerns International. (n.d.). The situation of women in Afghanistan. Retrieved the 16th of August of 2021. http://www.genderconcerns.org/country-in-focus/afghanistan/the-situation-of-women-in-afghanistan.
Women for Women International. (n.d.). Emergency support for Afghan women. Retrieved the 16th of August of 2021.  https://www.womenforwomen.org/.

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