In a report covering July to December 2022 released Monday, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, found that the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls “can amount to gender persecution, a crime against humanity”.
“The intentional and calculated policy of the Taliban is to repudiate the human rights of women and girls and to erase them from public life,” Bennett told the United Nations Human Rights Council. “It can amount to the international crime of gender persecution for which the authorities can be held accountable.”
Since coming to power in August 2021, the Taliban have multiplied restrictions on women. They were banned from the university and cannot access secondary education.
They also cannot travel without the company of a male relative and must cover up when leaving home. In November, the Taliban barred their access to parks, gardens, gyms and public baths.
In December, the Taliban banned most aid workers, prompting many aid agencies to partially suspend operations amid a humanitarian crisis unfolding during the cold winter months.