UN wants women’s protection law enforced
KABUL (PAN): The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and UN Women on Wednesday urged the government of President Hamid Karzai to fully and promptly implement the law on Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW).
“As long as women and girls in Afghanistan are subject to violence with impunity, little meaningful and sustainable progress on women’s rights can be achieved in the country,” said Georgette Gagnon, director of human rights for UNAMA.
Speedy and full enforcement of the EVAW law was critically needed to ensure rights for Afghan women, such as their participation in public life, including in the peace and reconciliation process and equal opportunities in education and employment, the official stressed.
Enacted in August 2009, the law criminalises child marriage, forced marriage, selling and buying women for the purpose or under the pretext of marriage, forced self-immolation and 17 other acts of violence against women, including rape and beating.
In spite of the legal protections under the EVAW law and other constitutional safeguards, a joint UNAMA-UN Women statement said, violence against women and girls remained pervasive in Afghanistan with an inconsistent response from the authorities.
"I have knocked all doors to get rid of violence but all my complaints had fallen on deaf ears. Instead, the prosecutor accused me of lying and warned me of dire consequence,” 15-year-old Sadat said while undergoing treatment in a Herat hospital.
She had set herself on fire due to repeated and unaddressed domestic violence. The girl later died in a hospital in Turkey, where she was taken for further treatment.
Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir, UN Women’s country director, said:“For the last decade UN Women has worked in solidarity with the women of Afghanistan on legal and social improvements with the aim of eliminating violence against women.
“We reiterate our support to the Afghan government and civil society in their efforts against the social malice of violence against women that is undermining law and justice in the country,” Gisladottir added.
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