Afghanistan: On the current situation of the women’s rights activists
VMany activists in the provinces were able to flee at the last minute and reach Kabul. These include 90 of our colleagues with 300 of their closest family members who made it from Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif to Kabul. They reported deaths within their families and feel their lives are at risk.
Airport not safely accessible for women’s rights activists
The situation at the airport is confused and chaotic. Some parts of the site are being secured by the US Army. And more soldiers are expected to arrive to reinforce this. All over Kabul, the Taliban have occupied police stations and the buildings of other state authorities. They have also set up roadblocks and checkpoints. Our local colleagues have told us it is no longer possible for them to reach the airport safely.
We are calling on the German government to make it possible for women’s rights activists and their families to travel to the airport and leave the country. International support should be secured for this where necessary.
Women’s rights in Afghanistan: What now?
The security situation prevents us from continuing with the regular projects in Afghanistan at present, so we are now concentrating on efforts to ensure that our colleagues and their families receive support and the opportunity to leave the country safely.
If this is not possible for everyone, then the activists and their families will each have to decide what their options are. This might mean fleeing to a neighbouring country, finding another way to leave for a safe country, or going underground. Any of these might be necessary to protect their families and find a way to continue working for women’s rights in Afghanistan. Whatever happens, the women will need assistance to pursue the options they choose. We will continue to provide this support - unequivocally.
The international community and the German government need to continue pursuing all political possibilities to support women’s rights and women’s rights activists in Afghanistan.