‘Afghanistan: No-one listens to us and no-one treats us as human beings’. Justice Denied to Women
Violence against women in Afghanistan, according to this report by Amnesty International, is perpetuated by a ‘culture’ of impunity on a vast scale for such violence. In Afghanistan, few cases of abuse and violence are reported to the criminal justice system, and almost none of the cases that were have been subject to investigation or prosecution. Amnesty International’s research indicated that in some parts of the country custom or tradition is used to legitimise the violent deaths of women. Amnesty International was repeatedly informed in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, that where women and girls are alleged to have committed adultery or eloped, the family would deal with the situation by killing the girl or woman involved. Also, this report documents a clear widespread pattern of forced, underage marriage (particularly in rural areas), and suicide (self-immolation being the most frequent means) as a reaction to violence perpetuated in the family. It also outlines the practice of exchanging women or girls as a settlement for disputes, at times even enabled by the local jirgas. This report recommends that a process to establish safe and just hearings where women could make complaints be strengthened, that measures be created to ensure that forced and underage marriages no longer take place, and that measures to be taken so that deaths of women and girls that may have been caused by violence in the family be investigated and the perpetrators charged.