Publications & Reports

woman and child standing in front of door

Adapting and Sustaining: Responses to the Taliban Takeover and Health System Disruption in Afghanistan

Authored by Mustafa Basij Rasikh, Elisa S Dickey, Alyssa B Sharkey. This research examines the effects of the Taliban takeover in August 2021 on health care delivery and management in Afghanistan, highlighting factors that facilitated and hindered continuity of services in the immediate aftermath of the transition. To do so, the paper relied on qualitative interviews with key informants operating at different levels in the Afghan health care system, including frontline workers, international organization staff, NGO staff, and other individuals who observed first hand the effects of the government transition on healthcare delivery across the country.
Challenges for Media in Exile

Challenges for Media in Exile and Their Struggle for Truth in Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan

In the aftermath of the collapse of the Afghan republic, the constitutional support existing for Afghan media has been eliminated by the Taliban. Their work and coverage are limited and the lives of many Afghan journalists have been in danger. Despite these challenges, the free and independent media, a significant accomplishment of the past two decades, continued to operate in exile and some with struggle and censorship in the country.
UN conference panelists

Report of the “Women’s Absence in the Taliban-controlled Political Arena and its Consequences”

On October 26, the Afghanistan Policy Lab, in collaboration with Women in International Security (WIIS) - Italy, UN Women, and the Permanent Missions of Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Greece to the United Nations, hosted a high-level side event at the UN Headquarters in New York as part of the UN Women Peace and Security Week.
UN conference attendees

Combatting Gender Apartheid: The Situation of Women and Girls in Afghanistan

On September 22, 2023 the Afghanistan Policy Lab and the Afghanistan Permanent Mission to the United Nations, in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of Dominican Republic, Malta, South African to the United Nations, and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security hosted an event during the 78th UN General Assembly entitled "Combating Gender Apartheid: The Situation of Women & Girls in Afghanistan" at Headquarters in New York.
Afghan girls at school in Herat Afghanistan

The War on Schoolgirls: Responding to the Education Crisis in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan over the past four decades, educational opportunities, especially for girls, have been limited. Chronic poverty, war, insecurity, and cultural norms have all impeded girls' access to education. This brief relies on primary source interviews to analyze the barriers to education for girls in Afghanistan and to assess the impacts on Afghan society of Taliban restrictions.
afghan protest

Insecurity in the Physical and Virtual Spheres: Violence, Repression, and Activism in Afghanistan

Following the drawdown of foreign forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and the complete takeover by the Taliban in August 2021, the space for activism in Afghanistan has been significantly restricted. This policy brief aims to shed light on the transition of activism in Afghanistan from the physical sphere to the virtual sphere, the various factors that played a role in that shift, and the current state of repression faced by activists.
white flower coming out of sidewalk crack

Profiles in Perseverance: Living With Hope

To commemorate International Women’s Day, the Afghanistan Policy Lab profiled eight Afghan women, highlighting the struggle and the fight of women in the country. These profiles share the struggle of Afghan women to survive, to live and not give up their fight, and to hope. These courageous women write poignantly of the lives of Afghan women in the country today, when simply breathing is a struggle. APL dedicates this March 8 to all women in Afghanistan, and honors their struggle and fight, and to state that every Afghan woman in Afghanistan is a Hero!
APL Policy Paper

The Collapse of the Civic Space in Afghanistan And Supporting the Fight To Reclaim It

Civil society activity in Afghanistan has been significantly constrained since the Taliban regained control of the country in August 2021. This policy brief analyzes how the Taliban has constrained the civic space in Afghanistan.

Humanitarian Assistance at a Crossroads

More than 18 months after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, the country remains gripped in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. This brief provides an overview of the existing challenges and the dilemma facing international donors and their implementing partners operating in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan Policy Lab

Afghanistan Under the Taliban: A State of “Gender Apartheid”?

Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, Afghan women and girls have suffered a severe rollback of rights, from denial of education to restrictions on movement to a lack of participation in the economy. Considering the significance of the matter, Afghanistan Policy Lab conducted a policy paper Afghanistan Under the Taliban: A State of "Gender Apartheid"?, where we discussed the scope and impact of directives and restrictions issued by the Taliban on women and girls. In our analysis, we examined how these actions violate international human rights norms and guarantees made by the previous Afghan government under its National Action Plan.