Addressing Gender Apartheid at the Doha 3 United Nations Meeting with the Taliban

To Secretary-General Guterres, Special Envoys

We the members of the World Liberty Congress are writing to express deep concern and urge decisive action regarding the ongoing and systemic gender apartheid being perpetrated by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The upcoming Doha 3 United Nations meeting presents a critical opportunity to address this egregious violation of human rights.

With the upcoming UN conference of Special Envoys and Special Representatives on Afghanistan set to begin on June 30, 2024, in Doha, we emphasize the urgency of addressing these human rights violations, They recall the guidance provided by the UN Secretary-General in November 2023, which stresses that any engagement with the Taliban should uphold non-discrimination, inclusion, and respect for women’s rights.  Any rigorous evaluation of the Taliban’s participation in international fora is contingent on their adherence to these principles. 

The Taliban’s policies systematically exclude women and girls from public life, education, employment, and basic freedoms, constituting a de facto gender apartheid. This regime of gender-based discrimination not only violates international human rights norms but also undermines the fundamental principles of equality and justice.

The international community must recognize the Taliban’s actions as gender apartheid. Such recognition is crucial to mobilizing global condemnation and concerted efforts to hold the Taliban accountable for their oppressive practices. Furthermore, it is essential to codify gender apartheid as a crime under international law, ensuring that those responsible for these violations are prosecuted and that such actions are unequivocally condemned.

The United Nations must leverage the Doha 3 platform to press the Taliban to cease their discriminatory policies and take immediate steps to restore the rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls. Failure to do so not only perpetuates injustice but also tarnishes the credibility of international institutions committed to protecting human rights.

We call upon the United Nations and its member states to take a firm stand against gender apartheid in Afghanistan. This includes implementing targeted sanctions against Taliban leaders, and increasing support for Afghan civil society, women groups, and free media ensuring that gender equality remains a non-negotiable condition in any dialogue or engagement with the Taliban.

In conclusion, the Doha 3 meeting must not be an exercise in diplomatic engagement but a decisive moment for the international community to demand an end to gender apartheid in Afghanistan. The rights, dignity, and future people of Afghanistan including women and girls depend on our collective action.

We are building the Congress as a legitimate and democratic institution with shared principles and mission, representation of all countries under autocratic regimes and clear governance structure.
The Congress will meet every year for the annual General Assembly with the intention to become an alternative voice to autocratic regimes.