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The fall of Afghanistan’s government to Taliban rule has further limited the ability of women and girls to exercise their rights, forcing many to flee their homes, seeking safety either elsewhere within the country or in neighbouring countries. This factsheet examines the needs, fears, and barriers encountered by Afghan women and girls who are internally displaced or who have fled abroad. It is the first in a series that will examine the changing situation in Afghanistan as additional data become available. It was produced by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Afghanistan remains one of the world’s most complex emer-gencies. Sustained conﬂict has resulted in high numbers of civilian deaths and injuries, and protracted displacement. Between January and December 2019, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) recorded 3,403 civilian deaths, a ﬁve per cent decrease as compared to 2018. UNAMA also documented 1,202 women casual-ties (345 killed and 857 injured), a four per cent increase from 2018.
During his first visit to Afghanistan from 4-7 October, UN Women Deputy Executive Director John Hendra met with several national and international officials as well as civil society representatives to discuss advancing women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality in Afghanistan. As preparations for international troop withdrawal next year and national elections accelerate, he emphasized the need for greater political and economic empowerment of Afghan women while safeguarding existing gains in women’s rights.