EU concerned at Afghan women's situation
KABUL (Pajhwok): The European Union (EU) special representative in Afghanistan on Monday said they were “deeply concerned” at the level of violence against Afghan women, and urged upon the government to adopt all measures to protect the gender's rights.
Quoting Franz-Michael Mellbin, a statement issued by the EU said: “"We are seriously concerned about the highly worrying numbers – both the recorded an unrecorded – of violent cases against women and girls. Human Rights – in particular the rights of women and girls – remains a key priority for the European Union.”
However, the EU welcomed the first Afghan report on implementation of the 2009 Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) and recognized the comprehensive effort made by the Afghan authorities to compile the report, which provides factual and cultural sensitive insight important to continue the elimination of violence against women and girls in Afghanistan.
It merits mention that the report documents 4,505 cases of 25 different types of violence against women and girls reported from March 2012 to March 2013. This is more than 12 cases per day.
According to reports published by UNAMA, UN Women, and AIHRC in December 2013 the actual number of violent crimes against women is far higher than the number of officially reported cases.
The EU special representative in Afghanistan went on to say: “We therefore urge the government to take all necessary steps to continue prosecute the perpetrators as well as taking a tougher stance on the widespread traditional practices that discriminate against women and girls and violates their legal rights."
The statement further said that EU is worried about the fact that in one out of five reported and registered cases, the victims do not follow-up. The concern is that these cases are not followed up due to fear and/or intimidation.
"Mediation is in many cases also used to address more serious cases of violence against women, listed in the EVAW Law as 'criminal provisions'. These include sexual assaults, rape, and forced self-immolation, which all entail penal sanction under the EVAW Law and/ or the Penal Code. Such serious crimes must be acted on by the State irrespective of a woman's failure to file her complaint or her withdrawal of a complaint," said Mellbin.
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