Lost in Consultation: The International Community's Failure to Engage Afghan Women

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The International Community's Failure to Engage Afghan Women

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A comprehensive report highlighting the exclusion of Afghan women from critical UN meetings with the Taliban.

Afghanistan is the most serious women’s rights crisis in the world.

177 out of 177 Afghanistan ranks worst of 177 countries in terms of the status of women

According to this year's Women, Peace and Security Index

Since taking power, the de facto authorities have subjected Afghan women to exceedingly restrictive policies, which prevent them from accessing the full spectrum of their rights – including banning women from secondary and higher education, working for NGOs, political and social participation, access to public spaces such as parks and in some places a ban on them leaving the house without a mahram (close male relative).

The 'Lost in Consultation' report reveals the international community’s lack of willingness to engage Afghan women in discussions about their future. Compiled from responses of 213 women-led organisations across Afghanistan, this report sheds light on the urgent need for accountability and transparency.

Key Findings

  • 86% of respondents wanted to be consulted before the February 2024 Doha meeting
  • The majority said meetings without Afghan women's participation are not useful
  • “Women’s rights should be prioritised alongside security concerns.” - Afghan woman respondent
  • Exclusion from UN Meetings: Despite their crucial role, Afghan women were excluded from the upcoming UN meeting in Doha. This exclusion undermines their rights and impacts the country's future
  • Impact of Taliban Rule: Since 2021, the Taliban has systematically restricted Afghan women's rights, barring them from education, work and public spaces

The findings demonstrate a significant deficit in the international community’s commitment to Afghan women’s rights.

Payvand Seyedali, Country Director, Women for Women International - Afghanistan

About the Report

This report was made possible by the efforts of several organisations, including:

  • International Rescue Committee
  • Norwegian Afghanistan Committee
  • Samuel Hall
  • The Khadijah Project
  • Women for Women International
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom


For press enquiries please contact Paulina Stachnik at pstachnik@womenforwomen.org.

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