Amnesty International says gender apartheid must be regarded as crime under international law News
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Amnesty International says gender apartheid must be regarded as crime under international law

Amnesty International declared Monday that gender apartheid must be considered a crime under international law. The organization’s statement aimed to raise awareness of efforts to remove institutionalized domination and oppression on the grounds of gender.

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

Under the current international law, such as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, persecution on the basis of gender is impermissible and considered a crime against humanity. However, Amnesty International indicated that the scope of this provision does not precisely involve gender apartheid. Amnesty’s Secretary-General called on the UN and its member states to take advantage of the opportunity to include gender apartheid in the draft of the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity.

The notion of gender apartheid was first taken up by Afghan human rights defenders and feminist allies, following the emergence of the Taliban regime in the 1990s. They reported how the circumstances surrounding 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 regimes of punishment for failure to wear headscarves are classified as gender apartheid. After, it continuously highlighted the discrimination imposed by the Taliban after it again took over Afghanistan in 2021. On June 11, the UN Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan reported that the maltreatment against Afghan women is systematized, which would lead to long-lasting harm to all genders.