“What is happening in Afghanistan is an alarm bell for all of us”

KABUL (SW) – Alison Davidian, Country Representative for UN Women in Afghanistan, has said that for most Afghan women and girls, almost each one of these days since 15 August has brought a deterioration in their rights, their condition, and their social and political status.
She said in a statement that Afghanistan remains the only country in the world where girls are banned from going to high school. There are no women in cabinet and there is no Ministry of Women’s Affairs, effectively removing women’s right to political participation.
“What I’m here to brief you on is what these directives and restrictions practically mean for women and girls living in Afghanistan today—women I’ve met as I’ve traveled to provinces and districts across the country. Women who could have briefed you directly a couple of months ago and now can’t leave their homes, go to their jobs, or show their faces”, she said.

She said Afghan women are forming new civil society groups to address community needs, running businesses, and still going to work to provide health and protection services.

“Afghanistan is not the only country in the world where women’s rights are being rolled back. But what is happening in Afghanistan is an alarm bell for all of us because it shows how decades of progress on gender equality and women’s rights can be literally wiped out in months”, she said.

What we all do—or fail to do—for women and girls in Afghanistan is the ultimate test of who we are as a global community, and what we stand for, she added.