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Zahra Mohammadi

Afghan Women’s Solidarity Team

Zahra Mohammadi is a member of the Afghan Women’s Solidarity Team. A dentist by profession, she has been vocal for the rights of women to work and education since the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban in August 2021. Even in the face of violent suppression of human rights, freedom and dissent, she participated in many protest rallies in Kabul, demanding equal rights for women.

The continuing lack of security and instability in the country impact negatively on the ability of woman human rights defenders (WHRDs) and human rights defenders (HRDs) to carry out their work. They are subjected to threats, intimidation, harassment, surveillance, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Perpetrators include both state and non-state actors – who act with impunity, knowing that the State lacks the ability and commitment to ensure the safety of defenders and ensure accountability for crimes. Human rights defenders working in remote regions, are at particular risk and vulnerable to attack. Women human rights defenders and those working on the rights of women and girls, are systematically threatened, and attacked – for the work they do, and what they represent. WHRDs are seen as a direct challenge to the status quo. They lack effective protection from the State including police, and face obstacles and threats from within their own communities, state agencies, and extremist groups.