Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has expressed fear for women and girls in Afghanistan after the Taliban issued a decree making the hijab mandatory for women in in the country. She urged world leaders to hold Taliban accountable for violating the human rights of Afghan women.
In a tweet, Malala said: "The Taliban want to erase girls and women from all public life in Afghanistan - to keep girls out of school and women out of work, to deny them the ability to travel without a male family member, and to force them to cover their faces and bodies completely."
Malala also urged world leaders to take a collaborative action to hold the Taliban accountable for violating the human rights of millions of women and girls.
"We must not lose our sense of alarm for Afghan women as the Taliban continue to break their promises. Even now, women are taking to the streets to fight for their human rights and dignity - all of us, and especially those from Muslim countries, must stand with them," Malala said.
— Malala (@Malala) May 9, 2022
On Sunday, UN chief Antonio Guterres expressed concerns about the recent decision by the Taliban to obligate Afghan women to cover head-to-toe. The decision has drawn severe criticism from human rights observers.
"Step by step Taliban is obliterating Afghan women's human rights with the latest edict on mandatory face coverings compounding restrictions on education, movement, employment and public life. There must be consequences for human rights violations - time for the int comm to act," UN Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett said.
The UN mission in Afghanistan has also expressed concern about the announcement, saying that the decision contradicts numerous assurances regarding respect for and protection of all Afghans' human rights, including those of women and girls.