Women are increasingly invisible in the public space in Afghanistan. Gender segregation is systematized, and women are asked to stay in their homes. The Taliban’s policy on women is now almost as extreme as in the 90’s. Girls are not allowed to go to high school or middle school, and they are excluded from most public sector jobs. The Taliban mandates that women cover their faces, forbids them from travelling, or even taking a taxi without a male escort, and has proclaimed that women should not leave their homes unless it is absolutely necessary.
The room for freedom of speech is continuously reduced, and civil society is under strict control. At the same time, the country is facing a humanitarian crisis, partially due to Western sanctions and a freeze of aid to the state. The need for women in the workforce is great.
How can we continue supporting Afghan women’s fight for basic human rights? Are there strategies that can push or encourage a change with the Taliban without risking increased suffering for the population? And what is the most constructive role for international actors and for Afghans living in exile?
Welcome and opening by Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt, The Rafto Foundation
The conversation will be facilitated by Sandra Petersen, The Norwegian Human Rights Fund
Torunn Wimpelmann, Forskningsleder, Chr. Michelsens Institutt
Farzana Kochai, Tidl. parlamentsmedlem i Afghanistan
Nazifa Jalili, Afghan Relief Committee Organization
Ingjerd Schou, Medlem i Utenriks- og forsvarskomiteen (H)
Fredrik Sørlie, Sentralstyremedlem i AUF. Jobber i Tankesmien Agenda