Femena: Right, Peace, Inclusion

Femena: Right, Peace, Inclusion
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Afghanistan Civil Society and Woman Protester’s Open Letter to the United Nations  

We, the signatories of this statement, represent Afghan civil society, including women’s rights defenders and women protesters inside and outside Afghanistan, Afghan civil society organizations, and International human rights organizations who are deeply concerned about the implications of the Taliban’s recent ban on the employment of women in UN agencies. This recent announcement by the Taliban is heinous and yet another deplorable attack on the most basic human rights and freedoms of women in Afghanistan. 

We are also alarmed about the recent stance of Amina J. Mohammed the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General proposing to discuss at an upcoming UN-sponsored meeting of envoys the possible recognition of the Taliban. Recognition of a regime that is implementing gender apartheid in Afghanistan is not only a violation of the human rights of the people of Afghanistan but an attack on the values that the UN stands for.

Women in Afghanistan are banned from accessing most forms of formal education, their access to the most vital services such as health is hindered by the Taliban’s male guardian policy, and last December Taliban banned women’s employment in national and international NGOs. 

The Taliban’s announcement banning women’s employment in the UN comes amidst not only a human rights crisis in the country but a humanitarian catastrophe where the lives and survival of 28 million people depend on the proper administration of humanitarian assistance. 

We understand that UNAMA is facing a terrible dilemma because of the Taliban’s increasing human rights violations and the growing humanitarian needs in the country. However, pursuing humanitarian action without women excludes them from access to much-needed services and contributes to the further erasure of women from public spaces.

We further remind the United Nations that UNAMA is expected to address the human rights crisis Afghanistan is facing, but has, so far, not met the expectations of the people of Afghanistan in this regard. UNAMA must be committed to impartially fulfilling all aspects of its mandate including monitoring the human rights situation, reporting on attacks on women and marginalized ethnic and religious groups, and calling out the Taliban’s grave human rights violations consistently and in the strongest terms. 


  • We urge Secretary-General António Guterres to issue a statement retracting the statement made by Amina J. Mohammed.
  • We strongly urge the UN to stand by its principles and pressure the Taliban to reverse their policies restricting women’s rights, including the immediate lifting of the ban on women’s employment in UN agencies and otherwise. 
  • We stand with women protesters inside Afghanistan in their call for the suspension of UN agencies in the country until women are allowed back to work.
  • We further call on the UN to use this suspension as an opportunity to pressure the Taliban into lifting its draconian bans on women and arrive at clear commitments to support women before the resumption of humanitarian assistance and other activities. 
  • UNAMA must be transparent with the people of Afghanistan on the terms and outcomes of any engagement and negotiation with the Taliban.
  • We recognize the critical importance of humanitarian aid but realize that aid has not been equitably distributed, including to women who represent some of the most marginalized groups. Before the resumption of humanitarian aid, following the suspension of activities, UNAMA must be forthcoming about its access to marginalized communities and its ability to deliver aid across Afghanistan fairly and equitably. Going forward, humanitarian aid must be distributed fairly and reports about the quality of aid, lack of access to aid, and Taliban control over the distribution of aid in different parts of the country, must be openly addressed and remedied.

Taliban have issued over 40 decrees targeting the rights and freedoms of women in Afghanistan. Afghan women human rights defenders call this a gender apartheid. It is time that the UN shows commitment to the rights of women by standing with them and suspending its activities in Afghanistan until its female staff is allowed to work. 


Afghan Civil Society Members and Protesters

  1. Ajmal Afghan, Integrity Watch Afghanistan, Field Coordinator
  2. Anita Ghazanfar, AWRO, Human Rights Defender
  3. Atefa Tayeb, Former Deputy Minister
  4. Aziz Rafiee, HRD
  5. Batool Haidari, University Professor
  6. Ehsan Ahmadi, APJO, External Relations Manager
  7. Fakhrunisa Haqyar, AIHRC, Human Rights Activist
  8. Farhad  Behrozو Kapisa Civil Society Network, Leadership Member
  9. Fariha Easar, Social Activist 
  10. Fariza Akbari Ibrahimi, Protestor
  11. Farzana Ashrafi, AKF      
  12. Fatema Daryab Ahmadi , American University, Fellow
  13. Firooz Khan Ahmadi, Takhar Civil Society Network            
  14. Frozan   Darwish, Human Rights Network, Human Rights Defender
  15. Hafiza Yazdani, IRC Community Outreach Specialist
  16. Hamed Elham, HRD Volunteer
  17. Hoda Khamosh, Afghan Women’s Justice Movement, Human Rights Activist/Writer
  18. Junaidullah Ashkani, ACSFO Member
  19. Karima  Rahimyar, Afghan Women Education and Vocational Services Organization, Director
  20. Khatira  Rahimi, Afghanistan`s women’s Movement for Justice and Freedom, Protestor
  21. Khowaja Abdul Sami Amiri, Human Rights Defender and Civil Society Activist
  22. Laila Basim, Spontaneous Movement of Protesting Women in Afghanistan, Chief
  23. Mahboube Hosseinzadeh, Women’s Rights Activist
  24. Malalai  Saad, Zanane Solh Parwar, Activist
  25. Maria Noori, Unity and solidarity of women, Protester
  26. Maria Ghousi                   
  27. Mariz Tadros, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK Professor
  28. Mastora Shafahi Hazara, women movement council , Women protect
  29. Mohammad Aman Haidari, FARDA INTELLIGENTSIA ASSOCIATION, Human rights defender
  30. Mohammad Ashraf Bakhteyari, AFSO, Co-Founder
  31. Mohammad daud Sheja, ACSFO, Project officer
  32. Mohammad Ismail Hotak, Hotak    Surkhroad Youth High Council     Director
  33. Mohammad Khalid, Ramizy  University of Pittsburgh and The White Assembly               Research Scholar and President
  34. Mohammad Reza Wulsmal , MJMA   
  35. Mujtaba Nawabi               
  36. Munaza  Ahmadi, Takhar Civil Society Network , Member
  37. Nazanin Noori                   
  38. Nazifa  Haqpal, SOAS University, Ph.D. Candidate
  39. Pragna Patel, Activist and Former Founder and Director of Southall Black Sisters
  40. Rahela Kaveer Afghan Women Empowerment Organization, Director
  41. Raihana  Akbary, FEFA     
  42. Sara  Nabil, E-Schoolaf, Founder & Executive Director
  43. Sayed Mudaser Sajad, FEFA, Women and Youths Assistant
  44. Sayed Naqibullah  Sadat, UoPeople, Student
  45. Sediqa Mushtaq, HMGM, Protester
  46. Shaeufa Karimi, AHRDC, Focal point
  47. Shah Jahn Kabiri, Unity and Solidarity of Afghanistan Women, Protester
  48. Shahrbanu Haidari, ASDD, President
  49. shaima seddiqi,  Pajwak,  Journalist
  50. Shaista Safi, Afghanistan Women’s Solidarity Movement, Sing Afghan women, and we want our rights
  51. Shamail tawana Nasiri,    Women’s Movement for Justice and Freedom,      Founder
  52. Sharifa Mowahedizada, Protestor
  53. Sheeba  Raufi, Harakat Khod Josh Zanan Afghanstan      
  54. Sheeba  Raufi, The Kosha Women’s Organization, Manager
  55. Sima Noori, World Hazara Council, Chairman of the Women’s Committee
  56. Soraya  Rasuli, Falah social institution   
  57. Sorayya Heidary, Protestor
  58. Tahera Nasiri,  Afghanistan Women’s Political Participation Network/ Safvan Civil Organization, Human rights defender, Protester and Civil Activist
  59. Tamana Ayazi, Freelance Filmmaker, Journalist, Advocate
  60. Tarana  Adeeb, Protester            
  61. Wahid  Haqiq, HODA, Executive Director
  62. Wahid Kalantari, Network of Panjshir Civil Society Institutions        
  63. Wahida Amiri, Protestor        
  64. Yalda Royan, Freedom Now, Afghanistan Program Officer
  65. Zahra Haqparast, Unity and solidarity of Afghanistan women, Leader of a Protest Movement
  66. Zahra Mohammadi, Protester
  67. Zalmay  Wafayar, Kabul University, Assistant Professor
  68. Zarlasht Khogyani, Unity & Solidarity of Women, Protestor
  69. Zubaida Akbar, Woman Human Rights Defender

Afghan Civil Society Organizations Endorsement:



3. ACSFo

4. Afghan Canadian Civil Society Forum

5. Afghan Civil Organizations Collection

6. Afghan Human Rights Defenders in Exile

7. Afghan Women Education and Vocational Services Organization

8. Afghanistan Studies & Cooperation Center e.V.

9. Afghanistan Youth National Development and Social Organization ( AYNDSO)

10. AGHO

11. AHRDS and Hymait network foundation

12. AWRO

13. BWCA


15. Civil society Association

16. Civil Society Development and Growth Organization CSDGO

17. Civil Society Network

18. Community Center for the Disabled

19. Development Vision Organization

20. DOWA

21. Education Defenders Network – EDN

22. Etidal, Peace, and Democracy

23. Falah Social Institution

24. FEFA

25. Feminine Solidarity for Justice FSJO

26. FIA Organization

27. Global Goals Organization for Prosperity

28. Hemayat Network and Afghan Human rights defenders in Exile

29. Hoodmand Youth Civil Society

30. ICCO

31. Management Studies Organization

32. Nai SOMA

33. NIDA-E-Afghanistan



36. Panjshir Civil Society Network

37. PAR literary center

38. Radio Saday Qarya


40. Social Change For Afghan Women Organisation(SCAWO)

41. Surkhroad Youth High Council

42. Tajala Radio and Television

43. Takhar Civil Society

44. WAW

45. WPSO

International Organizations Endorsement:

1. Equality Fund

2. Fe-Male

3. Femena

4. International Action Network for Gender equity & Law (IANGEL)

5. Musawah


7. The Regional Coalition for WHRDs (WHRDMENA)

8. Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC)

9. Virtual Activism

10. Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Way