Report: Girls/Women`s Challanges in Afghanistan

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Silvia Plana Subirana, Karin Friedrich, WILPF
Southern Asia

In 2001, after the fall of the Taliban regime, reconstruction of political and economical structures began in Afghanistan, and hopes started to grow for a better future. Despite the initial expectations of substantial change in women's lives, the current situation in Afghanistan can be considered in many ways inhumane. Improvements have been made, but mainly in the larger cities such as Kabul. The majority of Afghan women in rural areas have benefitted little in their daily lives, following the end of the Taliban regime and the subsequent international interventions. Violence against women and girls is reinforced by the widespread use of harmful traditional practices, including forced isolation in the home, domestic violence, forced and child marriage and honor killings. For example, 80% of Afghan women have been affected at least once by domestic violence and nearly 60% of girls have been forced into marriage before the legal minimum age of 16.

To challenge these violations of the human rights of women, the Afghan government approved the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) law in 2009. This guarantees the right to education and work, as well as the right to access to health services to all Afghan girls and women. According to EVAW, different forms of violence against women exist; most of them considered traditional practices. These range from forced prostitution, forcing a woman to commit self-immolation, causing physical injury or disability, rape, beating, marriage trafficking, forced marriage and labour, marriage before the legal age, and also abuse, humiliation or intimidation, among others.

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Girls/Women`s Challanges in Afghanistan