Afghan Women's Network

Afghan Women's Network

Afghan Women Join the Global One-Billion Rising Campaign to Support Action to Access to their Rights

Afghanistan joined the global uprising – One Billion Rising (OBR) Campaign in 2013, in a show of allegiance and support for women victims of physical, sexual, and other forms of violence. An estimated one out of every three women around the world experiences some kind of physical or sexual violence in their lives, and the ‘One Billion’ represents the estimated number of victims.
In Afghanistan, the OBR campaign is spearheaded by civil society groups and organizations engaged in advocacy for women’s rights and prevention of all kinds of violence and discrimination against them. As the lead network of organizations and individuals working for women’s rights in Afghanistan, the Afghan Women Network and its members throughout the country will observe the OBR campaign to protest violence against women in Afghanistan, and to express solidarity with all women in the world fighting similar injustices.
Women in Afghanistan, and civil society groups are concerned about violence targeting women, including sexual harassment and physical violence, especially in the context to the recent unchecked increase in incidence of such crimes.
We therefore use this opportunity to remind the new government to undertake appropriate strategies to tackle this problem for one half of the population of Afghanistan – Afghan women – who are at constant risk of harm.
On behalf of the Afghan civil society organizations, we demand that the national unity government take immediate concrete steps that ensure women’s safety and freedom as citizens, to enable them to attain their rights.
We propose the following steps:

1. To document and fallow up cases of violence and sexual harassment against women at the work place, educational institutions, in public places, and other places where they may be exposed to such risk;

2. To establish a committee to oversee appropriate response to violence and sexual harassment against women within the framework of the presidential office, which function directly under the supervision of the president or his designee, and involves the participation of the women rights activists;

3. To create a national strategy to combat violence and sexual harassment against women and enhance the role of government and non government organizations, particularly the Ministries of Hajj, Higher Education, Information and Culture and the Ministry of Public Health, to strengthen the fight against violence and sexual harassment.

4. To conduct public awareness campaigns, and press conferences in order to alter public opinion in this regard;

5. To implement the terms of the law on elimination of violence against women more effectively;

6. To engage media organizations to include issues related to sexual harassment and violence against women in their programming, as a working priority.