International Women’s Day 2022: If you supported surrendering Afghanistan to the Taliban, you really need to quit pretending you care about women’s rights.

The only thing I can think of on this International Women’s Day is the women of Afghanistan who were made into a sacrificial lamb by an international community of cowards that let the Taliban win.

To quote Human Rights Watch:

In less than seven months since taking over, the Taliban have:

closed most girls’ secondary schools;

created barriers to women and girls pursuing higher education;

banned women from most paid employment;

abolished the Ministry of Women’s Affairs;

restricted women’s movement including blocking them from leaving the country alone;

dismantled Afghanistan’s system that provided protection from gender-based violence;

created barriers to women and girls accessing health care;

beaten and abducted women’s rights protesters;

silenced female journalists;

banned women’s sports; and

appointed a men-only administration.

Yet, the world’s response has been muted. Several countries proudly claim a “feminist foreign policy.” But the international response to these developments has lacked urgency, and there is little sign of an effective coordinated plan to protect the rights of Afghan women and girls. On the contrary, governments pandered to the Taliban by sending all-male delegations to meet them.

Afghanistan is not the only country where women’s rights are under attack this International Women’s Day. But the speed and extent of the obliteration of women’s rights in Afghanistan is a warning to women around the world about the fragility of progress toward equality, how quickly it can vanish, and how few will defend it. We should all be in solidarity with Afghan women; their fight is a fight for women’s rights everywhere.

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