Afghan Women's Network

Afghan Women's Network

Press Release on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the Beginning of 16 Days Campaign

Violence against Women - Violence against Humanity – Let’s end it

Qaws (1395), equivalent to 24 November 2016

In order to fight and eliminate violence and discrimination against women, providing equal rights and women’s access to their basic rights within the national policies and regulations of Afghanistan, such as the constitution, The Violence Against Women Act, regulation that prohibits harassment of women and children, the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA), and the national action plan to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security are guaranteed. Beside, joining The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Afghanistan is committed and obliged to eliminate violence and discrimination against women. Civil society organizations; particularly the Afghan Women Network’s wide-range of activities to create awareness regarding EVAW Law, women’s right in Islam, concepts for enrichment and justice to the family law, protecting Afghanistan’s EVAW Law in particular, and not merging it to the Afghan criminal code, Women’s access to justice, emphasis on increasing the presence of women in making political decisions and their overall participation inside communities.

Every year the Afghan Women’s Network celebrate the international day for the elimination of violence Against Women and participate in Inauguration of 16 days international campaign for elimination of violence against Women which is start from 25th  November to 10th  December( International Human Rights’ Day ) through conducting continues advocacy , organizing gathering and media programs for reducing violence against women. in this year Afghan Women’s Network deployed country wise media campaign for obtaining commitments and messages of National Unity Government, demand of victims of violence on the implementation of the law, persecuting of  the perpetrators of the violence, awareness , social and psychologically support of  victims of violence and allocating budget .

Despite the tireless efforts made in combating the violence against women; still it is considered as one of the most serious issues of human rights in Afghanistan that increases over time. Based on the data released by special prosecution office fighting violence against women; around 2,462 cases of violations have been registered since the beginning of Hamal, 1395 – 12th Aqrab.  Within this year we have witnessed the most horrific forms of violence against women and girls in the country. Illegitimate prosecution of Shazia in Laghman, cutting off Raihana’s head by her husband’s family in Badghes, firing off Sameya in Faryab, Suffocating Nasren in Jawzjan province and raping women and children in Takhar and other provinces indicates the severity of the violations against women in Afghanistan.

Violence has difference causes. The existence of numerous cultural and traditional norms and values within the society is considered among the causes for incidence and continuance of violations. On the other hand; juridical, political, socio-cultural, economical and even psychological factors have played a significant role in the incidence and continuance of violation. The lack of women’s access to justice, cultures of impunity, concealment of killings, rapes of women, no referral of victims to judicial institutions, the lack of enough and specific budget for combating violence against women, the lack of juridical, financial and physiological support of those women abused from violations and their families are considered amongst the main challenges for women.

Afghan Women Network has issued the following requests in relation to the 16-day campaign for eliminating violence against women and requires Afghan government’s serious attention, particularly for the following institutions.

  • We request Afghanistan’s national unity government to seriously implement the law, and no one has to be exempted from punishment in case of women’s violence.
  • We definitely wants the national unity government in supporting the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women as a special Law and its separation from the criminal code of Afghanistan.
  • The government should avoid numerousness of criminal laws in in the fight against women’s violence and seriously pay attention to the existing laws in this regard.
  • Providing financial, spiritual and health-related assistance to the victims, the national unity government implementing UN Security Resolution 1325, must comply with the national and international obligations, in particular the Afghanistan National Action Plan.
  • Ministry of Hajj and religious affairs must reveal and take necessary steps in awareness of people from women’s right, their obligations and negative impacts of violence in villages and rural parts of the country.
  • Commission on Human Rights should research and find out the origins of violence against women throughout the country and provide the government of Afghanistan with solutions to combat this phenomenon.
  • Rules of Law has to be implemented all across the country; illegitimate and traditional courts have to be stopped, (especially in the case of crimes, and punishments).
  • The tradition of criminal impunity has to be stopped; we require judicial authorities to identify and arrest those criminals accused for murders and violence against women.
  •  Serious follow-up of violence cases against women by special courts and execution offices for eliminating violence against women.
  • Dedicating special budget for elimination of violence against women.