Heather Barr, Human Rights Watch

Heather Barr

Human Rights Watch

United Kingdom

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  • Unknown
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Women's eNews
  • Women in the World
  • HuffPost
  • Quartz

Past articles by Heather:

Afghan War Commission Should Examine US Role on Women’s Rights

The US “Afghanistan War Commission,” created in December 2021 to examine “key strategic, diplomatic, and operational decisions” the US made in Afghanistan is beginning its work. The problem: none of the 14 men and 2 women appointed as commissioners are experts on women’s rights, and none are Afghan or from the Afghan diaspora. → Read More

#JusticeForElaha Takes on Taliban Violence against Women

“After publishing this video, it’s possible that no one will see me again, I might die,” said Elaha Dilawarzai, an Afghan medical student, in a video that surfaced on social media on August 30. “It’s better to die once than to die a thousand times.” → Read More

Afghan Women Need Global Action to Halt Taliban Abuse

“Look—this is my daughter. She was in Taliban jail. They tortured her. They tortured her. All of you people, all of the world, is responsible, is responsible to me, as an Afghan woman… I lost everything of my life.”—Afghan woman calling in to a UK conference, July 18, 2022. → Read More

Tougher Steps Needed Against Afghanistan’s Taliban

Since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August, a grave human rights crisis has been unfolding, especially for women and girls. Many governments have spoken out against the abuses; the Taliban’s March 23 decision to continue their ban on girls’ secondary schooling may be the first time a rights violation prompted near simultaneous condemnation. → Read More

Afghans Call to #FreeHerFace

A new social media campaign, #FreeHerFace, has Afghan male journalists and others posting selfies with their faces covered, in solidarity with the Afghan women journalists facing a harmful new Taliban decree. → Read More

Dress Restrictions Tighten for Afghanistan Girls’ Schools

Afghanistan's open girls' schools in Balkh and elsewhere have been threatened with closure if they refuse to comply with increasingly harsh dress codes. → Read More

A Bleak Future with Education Under Attack in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s children are bleeding again. Multiple bomb blasts on April 19 outside a high school and an education center in Kabul’s Dasht-e Barchi neighborhood left at least six people dead and twenty wounded, including children, and casualties could be much higher. → Read More

Responding to Taliban Attacks on Women’s Rights

New measures are the latest in a long string of broken promises and restrictions on the rights of women and girls the Taliban have imposed since taking control of Afghanistan last year. But this flurry appears to signal an escalation in attacks on women’s rights. → Read More

Taliban Close Girls’ Secondary Schools in Afghanistan, Again

On March 21 the Taliban promised to reopen all schools in Afghanistan, ending their seven-month de-facto ban on girls attending secondary school. Two days later, as many girls were preparing for the first day of the new school term, the Taliban reversed this decision, announcing that girls’ secondary schools were to remain closed indefinitely. → Read More

Standing with Afghan Women and Girls on International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, we should remember Afghanistan, and consider what the state of women’s rights there means for the struggle for gender equality worldwide. → Read More

Afghan Women Watching the Walls Close In

Since taking power, the Taliban have rolled back women’s rights in virtually every area, including crushing women’s freedom of movement. → Read More

Taliban Use Harsh Tactics to Crush Afghan Women’s Rights Protest

The Taliban’s violent crackdown on a women’s rights demonstration in Kabul last weekend marks an alarming and unlawful escalation of efforts to suppress peaceful protest and free speech in Afghanistan. → Read More

The International Court of Justice Should Have More Women Judges

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial arm of the United Nations, has only had four female judges in its history. → Read More

When Foreign Men Talk to the Taliban About Women's Rights

What do Turkmenistan and UNICEF have in common? How about the United Kingdom and the UNDP, and at least nine other countries and four other humanitarian and development organizations? They all appear to have sent all-male delegations to meet with the Taliban administration in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, after the armed group took over most of the country on August 15. → Read More

List of Taliban Policies Violating Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

The weeks since August 15, when Kabul fell to the Taliban, have been a steady stream of bad news for women and girls. Almost every day brings further evidence that they are implementing a massive rollback of women’s rights. But Afghan women are fighting back—taking to the steets and protesting, even in the face of violence from the Taliban and attempts to ban protest. Human Rights Watch stands… → Read More

The Fragility of Women's Rights in Afghanistan

“But can we trust the Taliban on women’s rights?” has been a favorite question of journalists in recent years. The answer used to be “no”; the answer now is that it doesn’t matter much. The Taliban have swept back to power, and dealing with them is the reality, again, for Afghan women and girls. → Read More

UN Should Investigate Deadly Attacks on Afghan Civilians

Human Rights Watch today joined Afghan and international human rights organizations calling for a United Nations-mandated fact-finding mission to investigate escalating attacks on civilians in Afghanistan to promote justice and accountability. → Read More

Signs of Hope in Fight Against Child Marriage

There have been important steps recently in the global fight to end child marriage, but more work lies ahead. → Read More

New York Governor Should Sign Bill to End Child Marriage

Between 2000 and 2018, almost 300,000 children married in the United States. Around the world, 12 million girls under age 18 marry every year. → Read More

Afghan Women, Girls Should Not Pay for Their Government’s Abuses

A bill introduced in the United States Senate last week raises tricky issues about how requiring the Afghan government to respect rights could potentially lead to cuts in funding for essential services for women and girls. → Read More