Kabul fails to im­ple­ment women pro­tec­tion law

The Pak Banker - - 6international -

KABUL: Mil­lions of Afghan women and girls suf­fer from tra­di­tional prac­tices such as child mar­riage and "honor" killings, and au­thor­i­ties fail to en­force laws pro­tect­ing them, the United Na­tions said on Thurs­day. A re­port by the U.N. As­sis­tance Mis­sion in Afghanistan (UNAMA) found that women's rights were be­ing vi­o­lated through­out Afghanistan, al­most a decade af­ter the strict Is­lamist Tal­iban regime was ousted.

The Tal­iban barred women from ed­u­ca­tion and most work, or­dered them to wear burqas out­side the home and re­stricted their move­ment. For­eign and Afghan forces have been fight­ing an Is­lamist in­sur­gency since 2001. In Au­gust 2009, Afghanistan en­acted the Law on the Elim­i­na­tion of Vi­o­lence against Women, which crim­i­nal­izes many harm­ful prac­tices, but some au­thor­i­ties were un­aware of the law and many were un­will­ing or un­able to ap­ply it, the re­port said.

"En­sur­ing rights for Afghan women ... re­quires not only le­gal and con­sti­tu­tional safe­guards on paper, but more im­por­tantly, speedy and ad­e­quate en­force­ment," Ge­or­gette Gagnon, di­rec­tor of hu­man rights for UNAMA, said in a state­ment.

"The Afghan po­lice and ju­di­ciary re­quire far more guid­ance, sup­port and over­sight from na­tional-level au­thor­i­ties on how to prop­erly ap­ply the law," she said. The UNAMA re­port uses re­search done dur­ing 2010 in 29 of the coun­try's 34 prov­inces.

The law makes il­le­gal prac­tices in­clud­ing the sell­ing or buy­ing of women for mar­riage, forced or child mar­riage, deny­ing the right to ed­u­ca­tion, work and ac­cess to health ser­vices.

UNAMA said that while there were sev­eral weak­nesses in the law, which does not crim­i­nal­ize "honor" killings of women seen to have shamed the fam­ily's name, it ur­gently needed to be im­ple­mented and nec­es­sary re­vi­sions could be made later. Child mar­riage is wide­spread and the re­port said women in Balkh prov­ince quoted a pop­u­lar say­ing: "If you hit a girl with your hat and she doesn't fall over, it's time to marry her." -Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.