Statement for Ireland – Mexico Press Stakeout on the Situation of Women in Afghanistan
Statement19 August 2021
Statement for Ireland – Mexico Press Stakeout
on the Situation of Women in Afghanistan
[Ambassador Byrne Nason speaks]
This morning Ireland and Mexico as co-chairs of the Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security hosted a meeting on the situation of women in Afghanistan. Council Members received a briefing from the UN on the ground in Kabul, including reports of the abuses and human rights violations suffered by women and girls in recent days and weeks.
Ireland and Mexico are now jointly urging the Security Council to place the utmost priority on protecting and vindicating the rights of Afghan women and girls in all decisions and action on Afghanistan’s future.
We have today written today to the Council indicating four immediate actions we believe the Council needs to take now:
- The Security Council must unite and express clearly its rejection of these assaults on the rights of women and girls.
- The Council must as a matter of urgency call on all parties to respect and facilitate the emergency evacuation and safe and timely departure of Afghans, including human rights defenders, women leaders and those involved in public life, women’s rights activists, peacebuilders and journalists, who wish to leave the country.
- The Council must continue to demand full, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access: this must include access for women humanitarians and frontline workers throughout the country to carry out their lifesaving work.
- The Security Council must insist with all Afghan parties that the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in any new government is a non-negotiable condition of international engagement.
We’ve all heard the purported assurances from the Taliban that the rights of women and girls will be respected. What we hear from women on the ground does not bear this out. The past record of the Taliban does not bear this out. The Security Council must listen to Afghan women and it must heed them.
Now is the time for the Council to stand with the women and girls of Afghanistan.
[Ambassador Buenrostro speaks]
Good afternoon to all of you.
Mexico and Ireland are extremely concerned by the impact of the crisis in Afghanistan on women and girls. It is deeply disturbing to see how their hard-won rights and progress made over the past decades are being stripped away after the Taliban’s takeover.
Violence has compounded existing crises of internal displacement, drought and COVID-19. Hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been displaced and are facing extreme vulnerability, undermining their health, their dignity, security and autonomy.
Taliban violence has targeted women and girls.
We have heard repeated and credible reports of summary executions, beatings, sexual and gender based violence, sexual slavery, and forced marriage.
We have heard of restrictions placed on women and girls seeking to access healthcare facilities or go to school or work, and of restrictions to their freedom of movement without a male guardian.
We are concerned as well that no women have been included in the negotiations towards a future government and political settlement. Any future government of Afghanistan must be representative of all its people, including and in particular its 18 million women.
Girls must be free to go to school, women must be free to participate fully in society, and those who speak up for their human rights must be free to do so without fear or without reprisals.
Let us be clear: the rights of women and girls need to be at the heart of our collective and united response to this crisis. This is not a peripheral issue. This is at the core of the task facing the Security Council on Afghanistan.
We thank you.