Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

Afghanistan: Shameful Rise of Violence Against Women

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Afghanistan: Shameful Rise  of Violence Against Women

Following the pervasive mark of women international day, 8th of march,the revealedreportshas divulged ashamefulcondition against women in Afghanistan.As per independent human rights commission annual reports, violence against women has increased 11.7 percent compared to the last year.Physical violence, women’s murders, field trials, sexual violence, verbal violence and economic problems were the main issues the report divulged.Whereasthe report expects further range of violence but due to ruling traditions and weak justice system, people and victims are reluctant to register women cases of violence to the formal justice system. It means, there are lots of obstacles in front of human rights observers to document these cases, especially in the remote parts of the country.
Most Human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, have voiced concern at women’s rights in Afghanistan. the United Nations called on the Afghan government to redouble efforts to ensure that “women’s voices are heard in public and women are members of key decision-making bodies such as the Supreme Court or holders of senior positions such as governorships or ministerial appointments.” “Empowering urban and rural Afghan women is essential to reducing poverty, inequality, and violence against women,” said Toby Lanzer, acting head of the UN in Afghanistan, on the eighthof march event.
Sima Samar, the director of the commission said that the violence mostly carried out by the men of the families.“We have 4,340 cases of violence against women from which, 32.7 per cent are physical violence cases, 5.3 percent sexual violence, 3.3 percent mental and verbal violence, 17.3 percent economic violence, 14.4 percent are the absurd traditions and 90.3 per cent violence have been carried out by the families’ men,” she said.She added that 12 field trials took place in 2017 that only the perpetrators of one trial happened in Takhar province were arrested.“Field trial is a major human rights violence that is mostly carried out by Taliban fighters and irresponsible armed people in the insecure areas,” she said.Villagers in a field trial, beat up a woman on the charge of illegitimate relation in the ChahAab district of Takhar.Taliban shot dead a girl in Ghor province on the charge of house escape and prior to that, another girl accused of torching a copy of Koran, was killed by a mob in Kabul.Thus, ministry of women’s affairs said it had registered 119 cases of “severe” violence against women in 2017.
Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah stressed that peace would be impossible without participation of women in the process. He said there have been major gains over the last years in the area of ensuring women’s rights and their empowerment, but he said that there are still problems in this regard. He said that it is women themselves who made achievements and the government only facilitated the process. Abdullah Abdullah added, Taliban should cease violence for successful peace talks and cut ties to terrorist groups. He said that the Taliban could form a political party for political activities.
As aforementioned, there are numerous types of violence but one of most common violence which globally practiced is sexual violence against women.  large number of women and girls become victims of this crime in work places, streets and universities but as sexual violence is considered as a taboo in Afghan society it remains unseen.it occurs in form of sexual assault, uncommon sexual relations, insult and sexual humiliation, forced prostitution, forced abortion, etc. therefore, they try to conceal cases of sexual violence and not to be registered. Sexual assault is the most serious and concerning sexual violence in Afghanistan. In most cases, sexual assault is combined with other type of violence, which usually ends up with the death of the victim.
The second type of violence is economic violence, most often women are prohibited from working outside the house, not paying alimony and dowries have been mentioned as economic violence against women. Last year, the commission dealt with 749 economic violence cases.  The next type of violence is verbal violence, such as accusations, humiliation, especially for not having female babies, insults and verbal threats have been highlighted as verbal violence against women. The commission recorded 1,317 such cases indicating that of all places, including public places, homes, workplaces, hospitals, schools, universities and other educational places, houses have been recognized as the worst place for women. The report findings show that 90 percent of violence has been committed by male members of the families.
Other type of violence is social or political violence, especial for women journalists. According to a survey recently conducted in collaboration of Reporters without Borders, the that women who work in media faced with many challenges, particularly with security, social and cultural restraints.  Security problems in different parts of the country forced many women to leave their jobs in media. Reportedly six women who were working in media have been killed during the last two years.
Overall, the situation for Afghan women has gradually improved in the last years, especially in economically and culturally poor areas. This cultivating violence culture in Afghanistan not only shows a weak justice system but also shows a shameful condition for an Islamic country. While the Muslim’s prophet was the first person who fought in contradiction of violence against women and he rescued women from being burying alive in Arab ignorance era. His first wife, Khadija, was his chief adviser as well as his first and foremost supporter.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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