Afghan and Iranian Women are a Force in the Fight for Freedom

By Natalie Gonnella-Platts and Valerie Dowling

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Afghan women, who have seen their rights diminish day by day, demonstrate in the center of Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2022. Photo by Oriane Zerah/Abaca/Sipa
USA (Sipa via AP Images)



  • Governments and philanthropic organizations should dedicate greater resources to support women-led organizations, women-led movements, cross-border collaboration, and the engagement of men and boys in gender-equity efforts.
  • United Nations institutions and individual member states should follow through on promises to confront crimes against women and children.
  • International sporting bodies, global organizations, and other non-state actors must stop enabling the Taliban and Islamic Republic of Iran on the world stage.
  • Congress, foreign legislatures, media outlets and other private sector institutions should increase support for data collection efforts that document the experiences of women and girls persecuted by the Taliban and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • The U.N. and national governments should formally expand the definition of apartheid to include gender-based discrimination and segregation.
  • The U.S. Congress, foreign legislatures, and U.N. institutions should prioritize the meaningful inclusion of Afghan and Iranian women’s rights advocates in decision-making forums.