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Living under the Taliban: gender, insecurity and child marriage in Afghanistan

Time (GMT +00) 17:00 18:30
Image credit:Three young women run across a field to their home in a remote part of Ghor Province, Central Afghanistan, 2022. Jono Photography / Shutterstock.com
This event has finished, watch or listen to the playback below.


Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in 2021, fragile policy gains for women’s rights have been dramatically reversed. This London event will launch joint research by ODI and Afghan NGO DROPS with the latest evidence for governments and development actors to understand the impact of Taliban edicts on the lives of women and girls.

Political insecurity, economic precarity and ongoing gender persecution have negatively impacted social norms around age of marriage. The research shows how families are increasingly marrying off their girls to cope with closures of education and employment opportunities – driven also by fear of forced marriage to Taliban leaders. Underpinning this is deep gender inequality and patriarchal norms, which enforce a primarily domestic and child-bearing role for women.

Young girls who experience child marriage are being subject to a direct violation of their human rights. This event will shed light on changing norms around child-marriage in Afghanistan, centring the lived experiences of women and girls as they contend with a new political order under the Taliban regime.

ODI will host a unique panel of informed experts working in and on Afghanistan, to discuss the findings and explore gendered experiences of insecurity beyond an absence of active combat. It will identify recommendations for governments (particularly UK) to consider when looking for pathways for engagement with the Taliban, the role of diplomacy in that process, and the need to maintain key benchmarks for the rights of women and girls in any relations with the regime.

Please note: This event will proceed in two-parts. The first half will be a livestreamed panel conversation available online. The second will be an in-person audience Q&A discussion, for those in the room.


  • Ayesha Khan

    Ayesha Khan

    Senior Research Fellow, Gender Equality & Social Inclusion, ODI

  • Mariam Headshot

    Mariam Safi

    Executive Director, DROPS

  • Sveto Ishoq headshot

    Sveto Muhammad Ishoq

    Founder & Managing Director, Chadari

  • Caitlin W headshot

    Caitlin Williscroft

    Women, Peace & Security Programme, Afghanistan Country Office, UN Women


Read the research