After taking office, the Taliban government abolished the more than 20 Afghan state-funded protection centers and shelters in the country before 2021. Taliban officials told the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) that the centers were not needed because women should not leave their husbands or male family members. The shelters were further labeled a “Western concept” by the Taliban, according to the BBC.
Restrictions on women’s rights by the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan are among the harshest in the world. For example, due to the unclear distinction between criminal and civil complaints, women and girls do not have effective legal protection. However, UNAMA points out that gender-based violence was high in the country even before the Taliban took over.
According to a UN report, cases of violence against women are occurring more and more often due to the economic, financial and humanitarian crisis. Women are often trapped in their homes, increasing their vulnerability to domestic and intimate partner violence.
Government officials said male members of households would have to pledge not to commit further violence against survivors. However, if the woman has no male relatives or there are concerns about her safety, she should be sent to prison “for reasons of her own safety”. This is how the Taliban already treats drug addicts and homeless people, according to the UNAMA mission.