mercoledì 12 giugno 2013

The difficult path for protection of women rights in Afghanistan

by Ahmadollah Omary*

Violence against women is sadly still common in Afghanistan and it is one of the longtime existed phenomenon iwhich has been governing by men on women.

Although Afghanistan people are Muslim and violence against women doesn’t have any place on Islamic papers, the three decades of war in Afghanistan supported this bad phenomenon.

The most common types of violence against women in Afghanistan are:
  1. Rape 
  2. Forced  prostitution
  3. Recording the identity of the victim and publicizing the identity of the victim
  4. Setting into flames, spraying chemicals or other dangerous substances
  5. Forcing into self‐immolation or suicide or using poison or other dangerous substances
  6. Causing injury or disability
  7. Battery and laceration
  8. Sale of women for the purpose of marriage
  9. Baad (retribution of a woman for a murder, to restore peace etc…)
  10. Forced marriage
  11. Prohibiting of the right of marriage
  12. Marriage before the legal age
  13. Abusing, humiliating, intimidating
  14. Harassment/ persecution
  15. Forced isolation
  16. Forced fasting
  17. Dispossessing from inheritance
  18. Refusing to pay the dowry
  19. Prohibiting to access personal property
  20. Deterring from education and work
  21. Forced labour
  22. Marrying more than one wife without the observance of Article 86 of Civil Code
  23. Denial of relationship

The government of Afghanistan established on 2009 the law “Counter Violence Against Women” through presidential decree.

The CVAW law foresees protection of women rights and respect of women as an independent human being who can decide her destiny and who can finally complain to justice if she is under pressure of violence and thanks with the violators can be punished.

Although CVAW law is not known by most of the people in Afghanistan, enforcing this law can help Afghan women for better future and better protection.

Unfortunately, on 27th of May 2013, the CVAW law was not approved by Afghan parliament because of extreme protests of the opposition claiming that some article would be against Islamic laws. At the moment the decision of the parliament it is not finalized yet. The law is currently under discussion at the parliament and it could be revised for approval.

The civil society organizations made demonstrations in different parts of the country in order to show their objections for any changes on this law but conservative/extremist Islamic members of the parliament keep on claiming that some article of CVAW is against Islamic rule and must change.

Afghanistan is a traditional society, most of the people are illiterate and live in suburban areas which are often unsecure and unreachable and where the women who lives there are often facing different kind of violations. Changing this law would mean for the perpetrators of violation against women to be more safe to continue their abuses.

I believe that changes on any of the articles of the CVAW law would push Afghan women a step-back about their protections.

*Project Officer SudgestAid S.C.a.R.L. Afganistan - Herat

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