Hollywood star and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie is urging the world to do more for the women and girls of Afghanistan.
It’s been one year since U.S. troops withdrew from the country and 332 days since the Taliban imposed a ban on girls’ education.
Writing for TIME in a piece titled “The World Must Not Look Away From Afghanistan’s Women,” Angelina shares the words of a young Afghan refugee she met in Rome who was close to qualifying as a doctor when the ban came into force:
“With tears streaming down her face, she told me that she wasn’t sad for herself, but for all the women of her country.”
She writes that “peace built on the oppression of women is no peace at all, but a society constantly at war with itself” and urges the American people as well as the world to continue to speak up:
“There are girls who are locked out of school who are hungry to learn and who need support to continue their education, online or in underground schools. There are human rights defenders in hiding who need to know that they are not forgotten and that the authorities will be held accountable for how they are treated. There are Afghans in the country and in exile who need assistance to continue to keep the idea of women’s rights alive in the country…. And there are over six million Afghan refugees and internally displaced people struggling to survive whose situation is worsening as a result of the war in Ukraine and shortages of international aid who must not be forgotten.”
Angelina joined social media in August 2021 to help amplify the voices of Afghan women and refugees, and regularly uses her platform to draw global attention to humanitarian issues.
You can read her full essay for TIME here.
(Feature Image Credit: Gennaro Leonardi Photos/Shutterstock)
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