Afghanistan

Afghanistan:  Up to 90 percent of women in parts of Kabul cannot rent a house, open a bank account, inherit money or vote because they don’t have ID cards. The Norwegian Refugee Council's unique female only intervention team is helping households headed by women, while other NGOs struggle to recruit female staff.

Women’s rights have been held up as one of the most tangible gains of the international intervention in Afghanistan. Yet after 13 years of promises that women’s rights are a high priority, these gains remain fragile and are at increasing risk of erosion, especially as expected peace talks with the Taliban gain momentum.

In this TEDx talk, Afghan women's rights activist and WLUML networker Noorjahan Akbar shares her personal journey for getting an education and the impact that education has on empowering women around the world and in Afghanistan.

سيمكّن الوصول إلى مستويات أفضل من التمثيل الجنساني في قطاع القضاء في أفغانستان مزيداً من النساء من اتخاذ إجراءات ضد الرجال الذين يسيئون معاملتهن. هذا هو المنطق الذي اعتمدت عليه المنظمة الدولية لقانون التنمية (IDLO) التي أصدرت مؤخراً تقريراً توثق فيه المكاسب والتحديات الكبيرة التي ما تزال تلوح في الأفق- في جذب المزيد من النساء إلى المناصب القانونية الرئيسية في البلاد.

أشادت منظمة العفو الدولية بقرار الرئيس الأفغاني حامد قرضاي بعدم التصديق على مشروع قانون الإجراءات الجنائية، الذي كان من شأنه أن يحول دون تحقيق العدالة لضحايا الاغتصاب والعنف الأسري والزواج القسري والزواج دون السن القانونية.

More than one million people around the world have signed a petition against a new law in Afghanistan on the grounds that it offers the perpetrators of violence against women de-facto immunity. Referred to as the “anti-women gag rule”, the law has been denounced as the culmination of a series of belligerent attempts by the conservative government to undo the momentum in women’s protection initiatives over the last decade.  Yet in Kabul, there are few signs that the law was ever part of any such deliberate strategy, pointing towards the need for a more nuanced approach to the fault lines of gender politics at the dawn of post- NATO Afghanistan.

UPDATE: AFGHANISTAN’S NEW CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE REJECTED BY PRESIDENT KARZAI

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) welcomes the news that the Afghan President Hamid Karzai has postponed the signing of the new criminal procedure code, passed by both houses of the Afghan parliament.  Article 26 of the code would have effectively denied women protection from domestic violence and forced or child marriage, and would have given immunity to many perpetrators given its ban on relatives testifying against one another.  Through his Cabinet, the President ordered changes to this article.

The Research Institute for Women Peace and Security (RIWPS) was formed by Afghan women activists after the first Consultative Peace Jirga in Afghanistan in 2010, based on a need for a specific organisation working on issues of women, peace, and security.  RIWPS are committed to women's meaning participation in conflict resolution, conflict management, and their presence in peace processes. 

This interesting brochure documents the work of RIWPS over the yaer 2013, you can read it by downloading the pdf.

The law would prohibit the justice system to question relatives of criminal defendants. It will deprive Afghan women and girls access to justice against relatives who commit domestic violence, forced them to marry or even sell them. Only the President can stop this law that has already been passed by the Parliament from being enforced, and he is due to sign it in the coming days.  

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