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Amnesty International: Gender apartheid must be considered a crime under international law – JURIST

Amnesty International said on Monday that gender apartheid must be considered a crime under international law. The organization's statement aimed to raise awareness of efforts to eliminate institutionalized domination and oppression based on gender.

Secretary General of Amnesty International, Agnès Callamard highlighted not only the international failure to recognize domination and oppression that undermine the rights of women, girls and sexual minorities, but also the lack of response to these acts. “We call for the recognition of gender apartheid in international law to fill a major gap in our global legal framework. No one should ever be allowed to harm, segregate, silence or exclude people because of their gender,” Callamard said.

Under existing international law, such as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, persecution on the basis of gender is prohibited and is considered a crime against humanity. However, Amnesty International pointed out that the scope of this provision does not exactly apply to gender apartheid. Amnesty's Secretary General called on the UN and its member states to use the opportunity to include gender apartheid in the draft Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Humanity.

The concept of gender apartheid was first taken up by Afghan human rights activists and feminist allies after the rise of the Taliban regime in the 1990s. They reported how the situation of women's rights changed after the Taliban came to power.

Since then, the UN has also paid attention to the problem, and its experts claimed in 2023 that the institutionalized punishment regimes for not wearing headscarves are classified as gender apartheid. After that, it continuously highlighted the discrimination imposed by the Taliban after they regained power in Afghanistan in 2021. On June 11,The UN Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan reported that the abuse of Afghan women was systematic.could cause long-term damage to all genders.