UN wants Kabul to end violence against women
KABUL (PAN): As many as 2,320 cases of violence against women and girls were registered with the Ministry of Women Affairs (MoWA) from 33 provinces of the country last year, the United Nations said on Thursday.
On the International Day to End Violence Against Women, Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet said that Afghan women needed protection from violence and perpetrators had to be brought to justice.
In a statement from UN Women, she called the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) Law, approved by the Afghan government said in 2009 an important step forward.
The law criminalises child marriage, forced marriage, selling and buying women under the pretext of marriage, giving them away to settle disputes, forced self-immolation and other acts of violence against women.
Ingibjorg Gisladottir, Country Director of UN Women in Afghanistan, said: “In many parts of Afghanistan, the government officials are implementing the law, which is a positive development, but we are concerned that it is only in regard to a small percentage of cases involving violence against women. Most cases are neither registered nor investigated.”
Since 2008, nine provincial shelters, funded by UN Women, have provided safe refuge for over 1,000 survivors of violence and 6,579 women received counseling for reintegration and access to justice.
UN Women and its partners aim to continue support for expansion of shelters in 2013 and contribute to the creation of a Gender-Based Violence referral system that links health, justice and protection sectors nationally as well as for treatment abroad.
“Providing appropriate support services are important for Afghan women but it is not enough. The most important thing is to put an end to the culture of impunity that prevails in Afghanistan and make the perpetrators of violence against women responsible for their crimes. The Government has to take the lead and ensure that the EVAW law is implemented,” Ingibjorg concluded.
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