As we witness the unfolding threat to humanity in Afghanistan, we call out international complicity and express our deepest and strongest solidarity with Afghan feminists.
Today’s reality in Afghanistan is the result of an ongoing historical cycle of violence by foreign military powers, imperialist interests and corporate greed. From Russia’s bloody occupation, to Pakistan’s continuous support for the Taliban, the US invasion and the last two decades of US intervention that has killed thousands of civilians in military operations and left a stronger Taliban.
With the Taliban having gained control of the country, these foreign powers are taking leave of absence, embassies are closed, and foreign personnel are being evacuated, leaving feminists, women’s rights defenders, human rights defenders, journalists and others to face a fundamentalist junta. As Afghan people flee for their lives, they are facing these same foreign forces closing borders, calling for quotas and deporting refugees. This must end.
We refuse to believe that we are helpless in the face of injustice. Together we can use our power and influence. You can lobby your government to stop all deportations and ensure safe and dignified entry for all refugees, with additional measures to protect human rights defenders such as emergency visas. You can donate to autonomous initiatives and fundraisers and organisations that support women human rights defenders. You can amplify the voices of Afghan feminists and build collaborations.
Afghan feminists are the first voices we all must listen to. Today and tomorrow, but also in a year from now. It is up to all of us to make sure Afghan feminists and women’s rights activists are never alone. As feminists, we must commit to building networks of cross-border solidarity to last long after the media cameras are gone. Afghan women and women’s rights cannot be traded away nor instrumentalized in any future process. Afghan women’s voices and agendas are the only viable way forward.
We send our deepest and strongest solidarity to the Afghan people, especially feminists, women, girls, gender-diverse people. None of us is free until we are all free.