Afghanistan is one of the case studies in this report which provides an assessment of the nature of women’s property rights in regions affected by conflict. The report reviews property rights programmes funded by donors in post conflict situations and teases out major policy and programmatic lessons. It also examines the importance of land rights and the status of women in societies that have strong customary norms and practices relating to land. Keywords: Afghanistan, conflict, customary norms.
This section explains that although inheritance laws in Afghanistan based on the Shariah assigns women precisely defined shares of an estate according to detailed genealogical consideration, local custom supersedes these laws, to the effect that women with exceptions are not considered heirs. Women are considered part of a man’s estate rather than heirs.
This desk study provides an analysis of the constraints and discrimination that women face with respect to access to rural land with the hope of informing future policy and civil society interventions. The country studies investigate statutory and customary discriminations, and they attempt to place the theme of women’s access to land into a larger socio-cultural frame of reference.
Land and livestock are considered to be key assets for rural livelihoods, yet little is known about the factors that enable or constrain different women’s access to these, what ownership mean in practice nor about women who come forward to claim these rights. This study of rural villages Badakshan, Bamiyan and Kabul province sought to examine these issues in greater depth. The findings show that while women in the study villages (who represented a range of religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds) have a great deal of involvement in agriculture, few own land or livestock themselves.
When the U S Agency for International Development (US AID) sought bids in March 2010 for a $140 million land reform program in Afghanistan, it insisted that the winning contractor meet specific goals to promote women's rights: The number of deeds granting women title had to increase by 50 percent; there would have to be regular media coverage on women's land rights; and teaching materials for secondary schools and universities would have to include material on women's rights. Before the contract was awarded, USAID overhauled the initiative, stripping out those concrete targets.
This article argues that customary laws have been the main source of justice in Afghanistan and that the Constitution of 2004 is tacit on customary law, and permits the practice of customary law provided it does not interfere with principles of Muslim Laws.
In high heels and head scarves, a small band of Afghan women took to the streets of the country's capital, Kabul, on Thursday to protest harassment by men in public places. Carrying signs, that read "This street also belongs to me" and "We won't stand insults anymore" the 20 or so women -- and some men marching in solidarity -- protested being abused, groped and followed on the city's streets. Afghanistan remains a deeply conservative country, with heavy cultural and social restrictions on women's freedoms, even though the ouster of the hardline Taliban nearly a decade ago brought huge improvements in their legal rights.
The report seeks to put back on the agenda some of the issues pertaining to the enjoyment of all human rights by all Afghan women that are being increasingly ignored. The problems identified in this report require further discussion and public debate, with a view to informing appropriate legal, policy and awareness-raising measures. In this report, UNAMA Human Rights has focused on the following critical issues: (a) violence that inhibits the participation of women in public life; and (b) sexual violence in the context of rape.