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UN: Afghanistan Slow to Enforce Law Protecting Women

Afghan kochi nomad women carry water containers on their heads as they walk with a donkey outside of Maidan Shar, the capital of Wardak province, Sept. 8, 2013.
The United Nations says Afghanistan is failing to implement a law designed to protect women from violence.

A report issued Sunday by the U.N. mission in Afghanistan found that although Afghan authorities registered more reports of violence against women under the four-year-old law, prosecutions and convictions remain low.

The Elimination of Violence Against Women law criminalizes child marriage, selling and buying women to settle disputes, assault, and more than a dozen other acts of violence and abuse against women.

Women have won back many of the rights they lost during Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, when the Islamic movement was ousted by an American invasion following the September 11 attacks against the United States.

There are fears that many of those new freedoms may shrink as foreign forces depart by the end of next year and much of the international aid and assistance they brought to Afghanistan goes with them.

Under the Taliban, girls were barred from attending school. Also, women were forced to wear burqas and were not allowed to take part in any form of public activity.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.