Afghan women leaders speak to the human rights community in Geneva: work with us rather than sympathise

Published on Friday, 16th of September 2022

Members from the Afghan Women Leaders’ Forum (AWLF) travelled to Geneva on the occasion of the 51st session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) and the presentation of the first report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Afghanistan.



From 12 – 13 September 2022, AWLF members participated in meetings on the sidelines of the HRC and a public event hosted by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform. This was an opportunity for the members of the forum to comment on and contribute to the discussions on the human rights situation in Afghanistan with particular focus on women and girls. This was notably in the context of the presentation of the first report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, to the HRC.


Members were present from the three AWLF working groups on political dialogue and inclusive governance; education, employment and private sector; and human  rights and women’s rights. The forum members expressed serious concerns  about the grave and deteriorating human rights situation in Afghanistan. They presented detailed recommendations to the EU and the international community on what should and can be done to support the people, and particularly women and girls, of Afghanistan.