To stabilize a country there is a need to enforce the laws that are enacted in order to regulate the behaviors and conducts in that given society. Afghan government has been attempting to bring stability and peace to the country but without giving enough consideration to implementation of the laws that are put in place. Failure to stick to the constitution and implement other laws is now a common frustration across the country.
Failure is happening at different levels. Even the authorities have been acting against the existing laws. For example, it is quite clear to both national and international observers that the president himself has often ignored the constitution ranging from creating parliamentary crisis by establishing Special Tribunal to convening the traditional Loya Jirga to follow the old and traditional way of buying legitimacy while ignorant of the fact that things have changed and that method is not going to work.
On Wednesday, November 23, 2011, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that Afghan government has failed to fully implement the law on Elimination of Violence against Women, which was passed in August 2009 and criminalizes some treacherous practices common in the country such as child marriage, forced marriage, forced self-immolation, beating etc.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay has said that "Judges, prosecutors and police in many parts of Afghanistan have begun to use the new law which is a positive development; but unfortunately only in a small percentage of violence against women cases." She has also said that "Although the law's implementation is clearly growing, there is a very long way to go before Afghan women are fully protected from violence and their equality is properly supported through this important law."
As well, UNAMA chief Staffan de Mistura said: "The justice sector in some provinces has applied the EVAW law which is encouraging. But the low number of cases prosecuted and tried shows that a much more active collective effort by justice system actors, government decision-makers and others is needed to urge judicial and local authorities to apply the law to all cases of violence against women." The report comes while last week Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) also apprised of rise in violence against women.
These reports should be accompanied with national and international pressure on the government to commit itself to rule of law by implementing the laws of the country. Political parties and civil society organizations can play a vital role in holding the government accountable for its failure to work under laws as it is the only right way for mobilizing public support to bring peace and stability to the country.