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Afghanistan. The UN envoy assesses the actions of the Taliban against women as a crime against humanity

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When the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan two years ago, it was known that dark times were ahead for the country. It was also certain that a complete catastrophe for women and girls was coming. Unfortunately, it’s even worse than expected. The UN explicitly says it’s a crime against humanity.

It’s more than discrimination, it’s more than unequal treatment. What happens to Afghan women and girls under the Taliban rule should be considered a crime against humanity. “From the legal advice we have received, denying Afghan women access to education and employment is gender discrimination and should be considered a crime against humanity and should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court,” said Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. UK and currently UN envoy for global education.

In this case, the former British prime minister addressed an official letter to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan. This is the worst human rights violation against girls and women in the world. And if this continues with impunity, others may start doing exactly the same. We can’t let that happen,” Brown said.

Islamic fundamentalists have been ruling Afghanistan for two years. They took power after the chaotic withdrawal of American and NATO troops from the country. Since then, they’ve been tightening the screw on women more and more. They gradually introduce Sharia, deny education to girls over the age of twelve, deny women the right to perform many jobs, travel without male guardians, visit parks, and recently even deceased loved ones in cemeteries. – After the Taliban banned us from universities and announced that girls would not be allowed to continue their education, my mental health deteriorated day by day. I felt like a bird trapped in a cage. No prospect of happiness. I was so depressed that I finally decided to go to a psychiatrist, says the 19-year-old Afghan woman.

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The Taliban Celebrated Anniversary of Taking Power in Afghanistan (August 2022 Video)Reuters Archive

A way to normal?

Due to the decisions of the Taliban leadership, many women suffer psychologically. In addition to pharmacotherapy, they are offered, for example, therapy involving drawing and painting – this is actually the last entertainment they have left. – They threw women out of universities, amusement parks, closed beauty salons and so on. They left nothing to the women. Art studios are the only way we have left to help our patients. It’s the only place where they can clear their minds, meet friends and make new friends, says the psychiatrist, who has chosen to remain anonymous for security reasons. – Art therapy is a good option in this case. Not only do the girls learn drawing techniques, but they also come out of loneliness. Thanks to making new friends, they recover faster – assures Zaheen, an art therapist.

Until recently, 27-year-old Maryam worked as a data scientist on an international educational project. Now she is a seamstress. This is her original idea for dealing with the lack of development prospects. In her workshop, where she sews traditional hijabs, she has already hired a dozen or so colleagues from former work. I never gave up, I’m going on my way. Although there are no educational opportunities, our minds are still unlimited, assures 27-year-old Maryam.

In the shadow of these personal tragedies on the streets of Kabul, fundamentalist supporters celebrated the second anniversary of their victory on Tuesday. – It’s a very happy day. America has been defeated, we are proud of the Islamic Emirate, we are happy – assures Shapoor, a resident of Kabul.

The Taliban say their actions against women are legitimate. In an interview with the Associated Press, a spokesman for the group said that sharia derives its legitimacy from Islamic law, and that, in principle, does not expose anyone to any threat.

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Main photo source: Reuters

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