It has been over 365 days since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan. 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.

Over the past 12 months, we have seen an escalation of restrictive policies and behaviours towards women.

● Afghanistan remains the only country in the world where girls are banned from going to high school.
● Women are restricted from working outside the home, except for a few sectors and particular roles.
● There are no women in cabinet and there is no Ministry of Women’s Affairs, effectively removing women’s right to political participation.
● Women are required to have a male chaperone when they are travelling more than 78 kilometres.
● They’re also required to cover their faces in public.

Combined, these rules limit women’s ability to earn a living, access health care and education, escape situations of violence, and exercise their rights—and they further limit Afghanistan’s ability to chart a way forward through the crisis.

For many women across the world, walking outside the front door of your home is an ordinary part of life. For many Afghan women, it is extraordinary. It is an act of defiance.

Show your support for Afghan women and girls.

UN Women is on the ground in Afghanistan, working every day to improve the lives of Afghan women and girls. We are scaling up provision of services for women, by women to meet overwhelming needs. Health, education, and protection services are not only essential but, in this environment, they are lifesaving.

We are supporting women-led businesses and employment opportunities for women across all sectors. The full return of women to work is key to transforming Afghanistan’s economy and lifting the country out of poverty.

We are investing in women-led civil society organisations, to support the rebuilding of the women’s movement. The women’s movement is the key engine driving progress and accountability on women’s rights and gender equality—not just in Afghanistan, but everywhere in the world.

Every day, we are advocating for restoring, protecting, and promoting the full spectrum of women’s and girls’ rights and creating spaces for Afghan women themselves to advocate for Many Afghan women and girls feel that they are now invisible, and that the world has forgotten them—compounding their invisibility. 

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. It is a clarion call to everyone that the fight for women’s rights in Afghanistan is a global fight, and a battle for women’s rights everywhere.

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.

Help us help Afghan women and girls. Please donate today.

Information sourced from a statement by Ms. Alison Davidian, Country Representative a.i. for UN Women in Afghanistan, on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, during the daily press briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 25 July 2022.