Switzerland has become the fourth country to automatically grant asylum to Afghan women and girls after a court concluded that “a self-determined life for women and girls in Afghanistan is not possible under the current regime”. Other countries that have taken a similar position include Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan in 2021, Afghan women and girls have suffered systemic oppression. The European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has recommended asylum be granted to women from Afghanistan as a rule, which formed the basis of the Swiss policy. According to the UN, there are 6.4 million Afghans who are refugees or seeking asylum globally – 48 per cent of them are estimated to be women and girls. Earlier this month, at a lecture in South Africa organised by Nelson Mandela’s foundation, activist Malala Yousafzai likened the situation in Afghanistan to “gender apartheid”.