Afghanistan

June 2013 marked the handover of security from NATO to Afghan forces and US troops are preparing for their final withdrawal from Afghanistan next year after more than a decade of occupation. The growing concerns of women's and human rights groups and observers both within and outside the country over the transition process are well-documented. In the approach to the handover, there has been an escalation of violence with women and children the primary casualties. While both occupying forces and insurgents have been responsible for injury and loss of civilian life, the insurgents have been at the forefront of the most recent violence.

The rights of women and girls, including freedom from child marriage and domestic violence, have generated emotionally charged debates in Afghanistan over the past decade. Such debates often focus on personal opinions and experiences, or on the varied interpretations of religious teachings on marriage. This brochure provides basic facts about the impact of child marriage and domestic violence on the lives of Afghan girls and women, and on the broader economic development of the country. At the end, we provide recommendations for needed reform.

The number of Afghan women jailed for fleeing forced and abusive marriages, and other "moral crimes", has soared since 2011, according to Human Rights Watch.

Hardline students protested in Afghanistan's capital, demanding the repeal of a presidential decree for women's rights that they say is un-Islamic. The protest came days after conservative politicians' vehement opposition blocked an attempt to cement the decree's provisions in law.

Afghanistan's parliament failed to pass a law on Saturday banning violence against women, a severe blow to progress made in women's rights in the conservative Muslim country since the Islamist Taliban was toppled over a decade ago.

The woman, who has two children, was shot dead on Monday 22 April by her father in front of a crowd of about 300 people in the village of Kookchaheel, in the Aabkamari district of Badghis province in north-western Afghanistan.

If, as seems likely, Mr. Mohammad cannot repay his debt to a fellow camp resident a year from now, his daughter Naghma, a smiling, slender child with a tiny gold stud in her nose, will be forced to leave her family’s home forever to be married to the lender’s 17-year-old son.

In July 2012, Najiba, 21 was stoned and shot dead in Ghorband Valley of Parwan Province in front of a hundred and fifteen men in the community, cheering the stoning. This horrific incident was filmed by a community member who was present. Najiba had been accused of moral crimes by the local warlords and commanders, while the government blamed the Taleban insurgency.

It was the second time in less than six months that the person holding that post has been assassinated. In the latest attack, two assailants on a motorcycle gunned down Najia Sediqi, the acting head, as she was getting into a rickshaw in Mehtar Lam, the provincial capital, according to Ahmad Gul Baidar, the head of administrative affairs for the women’s department.

KABUL, Afghanistan — The acting head of women’s affairs in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan was shot to death in daylight on Monday as she was traveling to work.It was the second time in less than six months that the person holding that post has been assassinated. In the latest attack, two assailants on a motorcycle gunned down Najia Sediqi, the acting head, as she was getting into a rickshaw in Mehtar Lam, the provincial capital, according to Ahmad Gul Baidar, the head of administrative affairs for the women’s department.

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