Taliban Sends Women Abuse Survivors to Prisons for ‘Protection’ as UN Raises Concerns

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According to a United Nations report, the Taliban government does not support state-sponsored women’s shelters. Previously, the country had 23 centers or shelters in the country.

“A de facto police officer in the Northeastern Region said that women’s shelters are a Western concept, stressing that women should stay with their brothers, fathers, or husbands,” the report said. “A de facto former Attorney General’s Office official in the Northeastern Region said that ‘…there is no need for such shelters. No one will harm women while the Islamic Emirate is in power.’”

Crimes and violence against Afghan women and girls have risen since the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan in 2021.

The United Nations Assitance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said women who are sent to the prisons for their protection usually do not have a male relative to stay with them. Still, the prison is not the best space for women, UNAMA added in the report.

“Confining women who are already in a situation of vulnerability in a punitive environment would also likely have a negative impact on their mental and physical health, re-victimization and put them at risk of discrimination and stigmatization upon release.”

Women in Afghanistan face a range of restrictions. Girls in the country may only attend primary school, and teenage girls and women are barred from entering school and college classrooms. 

They are also not allowed in parks, gyms, or pools, and beauty salons have been closed.

If a woman is traveling more than 45 miles, she must be accompanied by a male relative.

Earlier this month, “World Human Rights Day,” UNAMA called for more protections for women and girls in the country.

“The time has come … this suspension has to stop. We, the people of Afghanistan, women of Afghanistan, and you, the most important organization for the Muslim world, let’s repeat this message and find a solution for women of Afghanistan,” the head of the Afghan Women’s Association, Fatana Gilani, told reporters in November.

Photo Courtesy: © Getty Images/Bojan89

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

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