(MENAFN- Khaama Press) On Tuesday, in Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation commemorated the tenth anniversary of Nelson Mandela's passing. Nelson Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a champion in the fight against apartheid, was honored during this event. One of the central topics of discussion during the program was the issue of“gender apartheid,” highlighting the ongoing struggle for gender equality and justice.
Malala Yousafzai, an international advocate for education and women's rights, spoke at this conference and said,“In Afghanistan, the Taliban claim that oppressing women is a religious duty,” emphasizing that they allow their forces to“degrade” women through this ideology.
According to her, girls in Afghanistan are suffering from increasing restrictions, leading to depression, drug addiction, and even suicide attempts. Ms. Yousafzai further added that“the Taliban has made being a girl [in Afghanistan] illegal.”
She joined voices with Afghan women's rights activists in calling for the recognition of gender apartheid and stated that“[the Taliban regime] should be recognized as a gender apartheid regime.”
Prior to her speech at the event, the education activist had stated,“I will use this moment to draw attention to gender apartheid in Afghanistan and urge the world to stand with the women and girls who live there as second-class citizens and victims.”
The issue of gender apartheid (sexual segregation) does not yet have a clear definition in international law. However, its practices in Afghanistan have sparked discussions in international forums. This discourse aims to define it as a crime against humanity by examining the dimensions of gender apartheid.
Malala also mentioned during her speech that“sexual harassment and abuse are not explicitly criminalized in international law, but we have the opportunity to formalize it.”
UN experts, including Richard Bennet, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Council for Afghanistan, and Dorothy Estrada-Tanck, the head of the UN working group against discrimination, had previously suggested making the path to recognizing gender apartheid as a crime in international law more accessible.
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