The Taliban’s Gender Crimes Against Humanity
Even under intensifying repression by the Taliban regime, many Afghan women and girls remain defiant, attending covert schools and seeking university-level education online. Tragically, however, global support for their cause has been underwhelming, especially when it comes to mobilizing effective legal responses.
EDINBURGH – Gender persecution is a grievous crime against humanity. Having established gender apartheid by denying girls and women access to education, many members of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan can and should be held accountable under the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute.
On the second anniversary of the Taliban’s reconquest, the ICC’s chief prosecutor should take legal action against the individuals responsible for what are the most egregious, heinous, and vindictive abuses of human rights systematically and viciously imposed on girls today. If allowed to continue without sustained international opposition, these abuses will set a terrifying precedent for other regimes where discrimination against women remains endemic.
The time is right to do so: after two years of ever-intensifying repression, there appears to be division within the regime in Kabul, which has far too casually implemented a series of edicts from religious clerics based in Kandahar. To complement the independent actions of the ICC, the international community can take several initiatives now that could add pressure for policy changes.
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