Statement during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan. Delivered by the UK’s Permanent Representative to the WTO and UN, Simon Manley.

Simon Manley CMG

Thank you, Mr President.

Let me begin by thanking Special Rapporteur Bennett and his team for their steadfast efforts in continuing to shed light on the dire situation of women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan as so eloquently expressed by the courageous panellists here today. I would also like to reaffirm the UK’s full support for your mandate.

As your report has set out, the assault on female autonomy and agency and the erasure of women and girls from many spheres of life in Afghanistan continues. We have shocking reports of sexual violence perpetrated against women protestors in detention. UN Women and United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan have also reported a sharp rise in child, early and forced marriage among girls and increased domestic violence against women. This systematic and institutionalised discrimination of women and girls imposed by the Taliban must end. And the collective hope of all Afghan women and girls to return to work and school must be fulfilled.

We also remain deeply concerned by the increase in attacks on Hazara communities and the intersectional discrimination faced by Hazara women and girls.

Special Rapporteur,

1,000 days have now passed since the Taliban banned girls from attending secondary school. What are the short and long-term consequences of that continuing tragedy?

Thank you.

Published 18 June 2024