Condemnation of the fundamentalist ideologies of the Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS) will contribute greatly to equality and freedom throughout the world, the Turkey-based Women’s Platform for Equality (EŞİK) said in a letter to the United Nations, calling for an end to what they called the Taliban’s gender apartheid regime on the anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021.
When the Taliban first took control of the country with the withdrawal of US troops in August 2021, they attempted to garner international support, EŞİK said, by pretending to backtrack on their severe policies regarding women’s rights. “But they forgot their promises within the month, turning the country back into a prison for women and girls.”
The Taliban has “banned virtually any breathing room at all” for women and girls in Afghanistan, they said.
EŞİK called for support for an international campaign as outlined in Karima Bennoune’s report entitled ‘The International Obligation to Counter Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan’, and called for international action to end the “special war against women” in the country, as well as an end to direct and indirect support for the Taliban regime.
The platform, made up of a diverse range of women’s movements, also demanded further inclusion of views by women’s rights defenders in Afghanistan as well as Afghan women in the diaspora.
“As women from Turkey, we salute the resistance of women from Afghanistan, and reiterate that we will never give up on our right to live free of violence in a secular and democratic country,” EŞİK said.
The Taliban’s restrictions on women and girls include the prohibition of work and education, the removal of all legal mechanisms to protect women against domestic violence, the mandatory covering of women’s bodies and faces, and bans on travel, exercise and driving, among other things.
“We know the misogyny experienced in Afghanistan and in many countries in our immediate vicinity as well as throughout the world will be ended by the united fight by women everywhere,” EŞİK said.