Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan is a tragedy beyond comprehension and I am horrified that the UK Government has not stepped in earlier to do something to prevent this. I am horrified that it instead chose to sit back and watch this tragedy unfold, with the Foreign Secretary watching from the comfort of a beach in Crete the day Kabul fell.
And I am angry.
This is a failure of Western leaders and we should feel ashamed. We are betraying those who we had promised we would help and leaving them at the mercy of their enemy. Those who the Jihadist groups have always targeted will ultimately pay the price for this failure: women and girls, religious minorities, political opponents, journalists, and human rights activists.
I am angry for the women who’ve been told to leave their jobs, female journalists and human rights activists who’ve destroyed their life’s work and qualifications in fear. For the female judges who defended the rule of law and now face unimaginable risk, forced to flee, burning books and evidence that would prove their occupation. For the female students leaving their courses, unable to leave the house without a male escort and forced to wear a burka.
As a woman who has the freedom to stand in the House of Commons and speak freely, or to write this without fear of reprisals – this shames all of us. Our fight for equality and opportunity here at home means nothing if we cannot help those women and girls who face their freedoms and futures being completely erased. I know that we as women feel this keenly and we have an obligation to help.