News / Asia

UN Says Afghanistan Failing on Protecting Women's Basic Rights

Afghan women listen to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, during a speech about women's rights in Kabul (File)
Afghan women listen to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, during a speech about women's rights in Kabul (File)
Ayaz Gul

The United Nations says traditional women's rights are being violated across Afghanistan, urging the country's leadership to enforce a recently enacted law aimed at protecting women. U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has released the finding of its report in Kabul on the eve of International Human Rights Day.

Top officials of the U.N. mission say the report is drawn from extensive interviews conducted this year with Afghan men, women, government officials and religious leaders in almost all of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. Giving details of the report at a news conference in Kabul, the mission's director for human rights, Georgette Gagnon, said that widespread customs such as child marriage, honor killings and giving away girls to settle disputes have undermined the rights of Afghan women.

UNAM Director of Human Rights Georgette Gagnon (file photo)
UNAM Director of Human Rights Georgette Gagnon (file photo)

"These harmful practices are widespread occurring in varying degrees in all communities urban and rural and among all ethnic groups," she said. "And these practices have been worsened by more than 30 years of insecurity and poverty. These practices are of course rooted in discriminatory views and beliefs about the role and position of women in Afghan society and have caused suffering, pain, humiliation and marginalization for millions of Afghan women and girls."

She says those who are involved in these harmful acts to women's rights need to be brought to justice and the communities that are letting them happen need to speak out.

"Many religious scholars, elders and others that we consulted told us that many of these harmful practices are inconsistent with Sharia Law [Islamic law] and that the role of religious leaders and community elders in both continuing and ending these practices is very critical."

The report has praised introduction of a new law in the country in August of 2009 that bars child marriage and makes it illegal to buy or sell women for marriage.

Georgette Gagnon of the U.N. mission says that the legislation and steps taken under it to prosecute some of those  committing crimes against women are important changes in Afghanistan.

She says that because of an increased awareness about rights of women in the country, many communities are opposed to harmful traditional practices and better implementation of laws can further the cause.

"Little meaningful and sustainable progress for women's rights can be achieved in Afghanistan as long as women and girls are subject to these practices that harm, degrade, humiliate and deny them their basic human rights," she said.

The U.N official says that ensuring the human rights of Afghan women, their access to healthcare, education and employment are crucial while Afghan leaders are engaged in the peace reintegration and reconciliation process.

President Hamid Karzai's government is currently engaged in efforts aimed at involving Taliban and other Afghan insurgents in the political system of the country provided these forces denounce violence.

During their five-year rule in most of Afghanistan, until they were dislodged by the U.S-led coalition in late 2001, the Taliban had restricted movement of women in the society by barring them from education and outdoor employment activities and ordering them to wear burqas.

You May Like

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities 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