One year on from the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan: re-instituting gender apartheid

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One year on from the Taliban’s takeover, what has changed in Afghanistan? Why has re-instituting a gender apartheid regime been so central to the Taliban 2.0’s (Taliban 2.0 refers to the second version of the Taliban that came to power in August 2021. The first Taliban rule were from 1996 to 2001.) consolidation of power in Afghanistan since August 2021? We address these questions by explaining how gender has become a salient feature of multi-level power struggles in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. First, we examine the changes experienced by women and girls over the past year under the second Taliban regime. Second, we consider four types of power struggles—in international relations, in transnational politics, within the Taliban organisation, and between Afghan men and women—that constrain the realisation of women’s rights and security. Finally, we suggest politically necessary actions for Australian Government to support the women and girls of Afghanistan in line with its value-based foreign policy and multilateral commitments.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Afghanistan
  • Gender apartheid
  • Taliban
  • Taliban 2.0
  • women rights

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