News / Asia

Aid Groups: Afghan Women's Rights Under Threat

Afghan women wait for food distributed by Afghanistan's Interior Ministry to the internally displaced families from Helmand province, during the holy month of Ramadan at a refugee camp in Kabul (File Photo - August 28, 2011).
Afghan women wait for food distributed by Afghanistan's Interior Ministry to the internally displaced families from Helmand province, during the holy month of Ramadan at a refugee camp in Kabul (File Photo - August 28, 2011).

Two leading international aid agencies say women's rights in Afghanistan are under threat as international troops prepare to leave the war-torn country.

Reversible gains

In separate reports released Monday, British-based Oxfam and ActionAid noted improvements in Afghan women's rights since 2001 U.S.-led invasion, but said such gains were fragile and reversible.

Young Afghani women graduate from a vocational technical institute in Kabul (File Photo - September 13, 2011).
Young Afghani women graduate from a vocational technical institute in Kabul (File Photo - September 13, 2011).

Under Taliban rule in the 1990s, women in Afghanistan were not allowed to go to work, get an education, or leave the house without being escorted by a man.

Oxfam says that some 2.7 million girls are now enrolled in school, compared to a few thousand during Taliban rule.

Taliban

But the aid group says such gains in women's rights could be lost in a "quick bargain for peace."  The co-author of Oxfam's report, Louise Hancock, said Monday that Afghan women do not feel they can count on those involved in the Taliban reconciliation process to safeguard their rights.

Listen to VOA's Ira Mellman interview with one of those responsible for the ActionAid study, Anjali Kwatra

ActionAid also called for women to play a role in any political settlement to the 10-year war.

The agency's survey of 1,000 Afghan women found that the vast majority worry about the Taliban returning to power. More than a third of those polled say Afghanistan will be worse off if foreign troops leave.

All international combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Violence

Oxfam notes that despite gains in recent years, Afghan women face a number of challenges. The aid agency says a law criminalizing practices such as honor killings and child marriages is only being enforced in 10 out of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. In the second quarter of 2011 alone, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission registered more than 1,000 cases of violence against women.  

Oxfam also says the number of women in the civil service has dropped from more than 30 percent of the workforce in 2006 to around 18 percent last year.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid