Confronting Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan through International Law

Since they returned to power in August 2021, the Taliban have erased two decades of progress for women and girls, and are again imposing a regime of gender apartheid in Afghanistan in violation of international law, just as they did in the 1990s. Gender apartheid is a system of governance, based on laws and/or policies, which imposes systematic segregation of women and men, and may also systematically exclude women from public spaces and spheres. Through law and policy, the Taliban are depriving women of the freedom of movement, access to health care, access to justice, the right to participate in government, to work, to education, to freedom of expression, to freedom of assembly, to freedom from violence, and more. 

Given this worsening crisis, the gender apartheid approach is increasingly endorsed and used by many Afghan women human rights defenders at the forefront of challenging Taliban practices as the international community fails to offer a robust response.

This panel will serve as a platform for the voices of these Afghan women so that their direct experiences are incorporated into a discussion and analysis of these issues.


  • Hannah R. Garry, Clinical Professor of Law, USC Gould School of Law & founding Director, International Human Rights Clinic


  • Karima E. Bennoune, Louis M. Simes Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law, former Special Rapporteur for Cultural
  • Horia Mosadiq, Director of Safety and Risk Mitigation Organization (SRMO)
  • Yalda Royan, Afghan human rights defender and expert on Hazara rights
  • Zarqa Yaftali, Executive Director, Women and Children Legal Research Foundation