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The position of women and girls in Afghanistan is characterised by deeply engrained attitudes, strong cultural beliefs and societal structures that reinforce discrimination. Gender-based human rights violations are common. In their first press conference after the takeover, the Taliban announced that ‘women are a key part of society and we are guaranteeing all their rights within the limits of Islam.’[24] However, it was not clarified or elaborated what the Taliban considered those limits to be [Security September 2021, 1.1.2]. It was also reported that in September 2021 the Taliban shut down the Ministry for Women’s Affairs, reinstating instead the Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. During the Taliban rule in the 1990s, the ministry under this name was reported to impose strict Islamic rules and harsh restrictions on women.[25]


The contents of this section include:

   It should be noted that the different forms of violence against women in Afghanistan are often significantly interlinked. Therefore, the following subsections should be read in conjunction.



[24] Al Jazeera, Transcript of Taliban’s first news conference in Kabul, 17 August 2021, url. [back to text]
[25] BBC, Afghanistan: Taliban morality police replace women's ministry, 18 September, url; AP News, Taliban replace ministry for women with ‘virtue’ authorities, 18 September 2021, url. [back to text]