Female judges in Afghanistan are in hiding, in fear of reprisals from previously convicted male prisoners, as well as Taliban fundamentalists.
The Taliban has instructed 250 female judges not to return to work. The organization does not believe in women holding senior positions.
When the Taliban overtook Afghanistan, it set free thousands of convicted criminals.
Now, the female judges left in Afghanistan fear for the lives and safety of themselves and their families.
The International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) has said that while a few dozen managed to flee the country, many are left behind, and have been forced into hiding. The organization, along with others, are trying to find safe passages out of the country for the now-former judges.
Women judges have reported constant death threats. Some have moved house-to-house in order to escape being tracked down by the Taliban.
Every judge who was working under the former Afghanistan government has been replaced by the Taliban and their appointees. While male judges were also replaced, it’s the female judges who have been made even bigger targets.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights told the Human Rights Council of multiple reports of the Taliban going door to door looking for government officials, prompting the female judges to fear being hunted down. Reports have said that women are becoming more and more excluded from the public. Restrictions are piling up against women across professional sectors, including in government, law, and education.