In the lead-up to the 28 January London Conference on Afghanistan hosted by the UK Government, Afghan women human rights defenders today released strong, specific recommendations on security, development and governance priorities for their country. These recommendations provide the only concrete input from consultation with Afghan women into the key decisions affecting the future of their country that will be set in London by international actors.

President Karzai is to outline plans to re-integrate Taliban fighters into Afghan society and government at a conference in London tomorrow. A news conference under the theme "Afghan Women Leader's Priorities for Afghanistan Stabilization and Reconstruction" is being held ahead of the main meeting.

In an unusual display of female political activism, several hundred demonstrators demand that President Hamid Karzai purge those connected to corruption, war crimes or the Taliban. Several hundred women, many holding aloft pictures of relatives killed by drug lords or Taliban militants, held a loud but nonviolent street protest today, demanding that President Hamid Karzai purge from his government anyone connected to corruption, war crimes or the Taliban. "These women are being very brave," said the protest leader, her face hidden by a burka. "To be a woman in Afghanistan and an activist can mean death. We want justice for our loved ones!

Human Rights Watch recently released report 'We have the promises of the world: Women's Rights in Afghanistan' provides an insight on the current state of affairs of the women's rights struggle in Afghanistan while highlighting common themes of the feminist struggle across the globe.

Eight years after the fall of the Taliban, women and girls suffer high levels of violence and discrimination and have poor access to justice and education, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.  The Afghan government has also failed to bring killers of prominent women in public life to justice, creating an environment of impunity for those who target women.

‘Give peace a chance’ may just be another cliché for many, but for women who have suffered the ravages of war, endless strife and other forms of conflict, joining hands to find meaningful solutions to their collective aspiration lends it a whole new meaning. "For 5,000 years women have been sitting in ‘jirgas’ (tribal councils), at least in Afghanistan. We have ‘jirgas’ all over Pakistan’s tribal areas also, and we thought why not introduce this concept?"

Since 2004 the Afghan Constitution has provided women with equal protection before the law. However, many discriminatory practices are disguised as 'Islamic' and, therefore, lawful. These include husbands deciding whether their wives should work, and a father having the right to prohibit his daughters from attending school or forcing them into marriage, all of them based on conservative interpretations of the Quran.

Amid Afghanistan's troubled balloting, women faced special threats and intimidation. Georgette Gagnon reports from Kabul on missing fingers and stolen ballot boxes.
Des groupes de défense des droits humains ont demandé au gouvernement afghan d’adopter une nouvelle loi qui ferait plus clairement la distinction entre le viol et l’adultère entre personnes consentantes, considéré dans ce pays comme un délit grave.
Riahana et Farida Kawoon iront voter jeudi pour la présidentielle en Afghanistan, dans l'espoir que les progrès laborieux pour les droits des femmes esquissés depuis la chute du régime des talibans il y a huit ans s'intensifieront.
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