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    Senators call for giving women due rights

    KABUL (PAN): A number of Meshrano Jirga, upper house of Parliament, members on Sunday called for giving women their due rights as enshrined in the Shariah.

    "Women are given their due rights by Islam and the relevant Shariah law be enforced," said Deputy Chairman of Senate Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, who presided over the session.

    He claimed some liberal foreign organisations were trying to ensure Afghan women's freedom in contradiction to Islamic teachings. Without elaborating, Ezedyar said: "Calls for giving so much freedom to women has been the result of increasing violence against them."

    Senator Rana Tarin said women should be given emancipation in light of Islamic principles. "We don't want freedom that is against Islam," the female lawmaker explained.

    She accused foreign troops and insurgents of subjecting women in Afghanistan to violence, asking the government to take serious measures in this regard.

    "Taliban and foreign troops conduct operations at night, raid people's homes, search women and sometimes insult them," she alleged.

    Another woman senator from northern Badakhshan province, Gulalai Akbari, accused men of being violent. "Women give birth to the men who beat and intimidate them," she remarked.

    Akbari suggested all government departments should work jointly to do away with violence against women and protect their rights. "The few women in the Cabinet and the national assembly are unable to eliminate the scourge."

    But another female legislator, Anar Kali Honaryar, stressed only supremacy of law could prevent violence against women in the country. She said violence was not as high in the country as shown by some organisations working for women's rights.

    She said some organisatons had been trying to depict a horrible picture of the women's rights situation in Afghanistan.

    Her remarks come days after the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said more than 39,000 incidents of violence against women had been registered over the past nine months.

    According to Women Affairs Ministry, 6000 cases of violence against women surfaced last year. The cases included early marriage, forced marriage, sexual assaults, runaways, etc.

    The United Nations says Afghan authorities have failed to enforce a law protecting women from murder, beating, rape, other forms of violence and being sold into marriage and prostitution.