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Inside Geneva: what now for women in Afghanistan?

On Inside Geneva this week, host Imogen Foulkes asks whether the United Nations (UN) should still work in Afghanistan now the Taliban are banning women from work and girls from secondary school.

Karima Bennoune, professor of International Law: “Anyone who believed in something called Taliban 2.0 had never actually spoken to an Afghan woman human rights defender. Because the Afghan women human rights defenders, they knew what was going to happen. They did their best without a loud microphone to tell governments, to tell international organisations, what was going to happen.”

Is the UN becoming complicit in what some call gender apartheid?

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Fiona Frazer, UN human rights, Kabul: “Despite the fact that it does seem that every month or three months or so a new decree comes out that pushes women further back into their homes, we have to keep being here. That’s what women and girls tell us: they want us to be here. They feel the need to have the UN be here, to be present, and to keep going back.”

It’s now almost two years since the Taliban seized power again. What do Afghan women think?

Fereshta Abbasi, Human Rights Watch: “If there is a resistance in Afghanistan, it’s definitely coming from the women of Afghanistan. That 12-year-old girl who’s still attending an underground school in Helmand is the resistance of Afghanistan. The Taliban will never be able to erase their minds and erase the knowledge that they have already gained.”

Join Imogen Foulkes on Inside Geneva podcast to find out more. 

For more insights and discussions from Switzerland’s international city, subscribe to Inside Geneva on Apple PodcastsExternal linkSpotifyExternal link, or wherever you get your podcasts. And subscribe to our newsletter to get all the International Geneva news and views from Imogen Foulkes in your inbox:

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For more audio content from SWI, explore The Swiss Connection, a podcast with Swiss stories for the world.


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR