Countering Gender Apartheid & Gender Persecution in Afghanistan: Call for Global Action for Accountability and Codification

On the Sidelines of the 56th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

June 19, 2024
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. CEST
Room XXII UNOG Building – Palais des Nations Geneva

Since the Taliban seized control in 2021, women and girls in Afghanistan have been subject to ever more repressive restrictions on their fundamental rights and freedoms. Over 100 edicts have been issued, specifically targeting their right to move freely, assemble publicly, access healthcare, education, or work, play sports, visit parks and beauty salons. The dire situation that Afghan women and girls are facing is a women’s rights emergency that holds potentially dangerous precedent for the entire region, and indeed for women’s rights globally. Observers, UN experts, legal scholars, and activists agree that the current regime in the country amounts to gender apartheid.

This side event will convene UN member states, policymakers, legal experts, and civil society, to share information and coordinate efforts on this issue. The event poses an urgent call for global action on this women’s rights crisis, calling on the international community to ensure it does not forget the women of Afghanistan as the Taliban regime increases draconian measures against them while the human rights and humanitarian situation deteriorates. Furthermore, it attempts to bring key stakeholders around a unified movement for the codification of gender apartheid as a crime against humanity within international legal frameworks.


Ambassador Nasir Ahmad Andisha, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN in Geneva

Ambassador Vasilika Hysi, Permanent Representative of Albania to the UN in Geneva

Richard Bennett, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan

Metra Mehran, Afghan Women’s Rights Activist

Rita Manchanda, South Asia Regional Expert and Author of WRN’s report Women Seeking

Security, Asserting Agency India Afghan Refugee Community Conversations

Nargis Nehan, Founder of Canada’s Feminist Forum for Afghanistan and Former Acting

Minister of Mines and Petroleum


Co-hosted by Afghanistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, Albania’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, Center for Dialogue and Progress – Geneva , Women’s Regional Network, Canada’s Feminist Forum for Afghanistan, WomanKind Worldwide, Atlantic Council Strategic Litigation Project, and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.