Women's rights violations on the rise in Faryab
MAIMANA (Pajhwok): The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has expressed grave concern over a dramatic increase in violations of human rights in northwestern Faryab province.
The AIHRC regional head said most of people involved in human rights violations were still at large and could not be punished because they took shelter in remote areas.
Sayyed Hafizullah Fitrat added lack of awareness about human rights and lack of public confidence in the government were the main factors behind the surge in human rights abuses.
Fitrat demanded the government ensure security and the rule of law in the country in order to provide people with direly needed services and to stop human rights violations.
He again reiterated lack of knowledge, religious tendencies, citizen rights, local traditions were main factors that triggered elopement cases, building illicit relations between boys and girls, and surge in dowry ultimately led to human rights violations.
During the literacy courses, women were taught about legal system of the country, women rights and established law under which a person who violate human rights could get punishment.
Statistics showed that 64 cases of violation against women recorded in 2014 in northwestern Faryab province--- a 20 percent surge as compared to the outgoing year.
Out of total 64, at least 24 were killing cases while the rests were cases of sexual harassments of women. The perpetrators of those cases were mainly husbands and other family members of women.
The most violent case registered so far was the brutal killing of a mother and her 15 years old daughter by unidentified gunmen. The armed men forced their way into her house in Sherin Tagab district and opened indiscriminate fire, leaving mother and her daughter dead on the spot last month.
Soon after the gruesome killing of the pair, the husband of the woman escaped but police had started investigation to apprehend the killer.
The killing of a pregnant woman in Qaisar and another 38-year old woman in Pashtoonkot locality by her family members were also included in the statistics mentioned above.
Earlier, a teenage girl burnt herself after her lover and his family refused to tie her knot. Latifa 18 has love affairs with Faisal. Committing suicide and self-immolation issues were also on the rise among women.
Masooma, a female and a university student, who failed to clear her exam, hanged herself. Another woman in Maimana, the provincial capital of Faryab, ended her life after taking poisonous drugs. The 19-year old woman was a high school graduate.
A body of another female student burned to death was found in Maiman city. According to investigations, the woman who had three children was first killed and then burned.
Another woman, 38 who was the resident of Sherin Tagab district wishing not to be named said she had been living for 15 years with her husband but he tied the knot with another woman.
She had two daughters and one son and her husband did not pay attention to them and even sometimes he beaten them severely.
She offered to live with her husband if he mends his ways otherwise she would prefer separation of ways. “I am worried I will face serious threats if I share my problems with the women affairs department. Most of the women are killed by unidentified gunmen after lodging their complaints,” she remarked.
Sharifa Azimi, director women affairs, condemned violence against women and said the number of women killed as a result of violence was higher than reported.
Six women were died as a result of violence last year while the number this year stood at 26, she recalled.
She linked the violence against women to insecurity, presence of illegal armed men, high dowry costs, disagreement of parents with their daughters and sons in their engagements and some other related issues.
But Azimi added violence against women would not prevent women from seeking education and doing jobs. She pledged her office would explore ways to reform the community.
She said her department helped nearly 150,000 women in providing trainings about politics, elections, gender, heritage, women rights and literacy during the past 13 years.
About 60,000 women received vocational trainings including tailoring, handicrafts, cooking, computer programs and English learning, Azimi said, adding the women affairs department established seven women councils in each district to help resolve their problems.
She called the number of female workers in offices as satisfactory and said more women were seeking working opportunities. Azimi demanded the government to eliminate corruption, insecurity, violence against women and growing narcotics trade.
Hawaida, a teacher in Maimana, said women had achieved several targets such as their right to education, working in offices and contesting in elections during the last 13-year.
“Still there are certain limitations on women and most of them cannot go outside withiout wearing proper Hijab. People connect women related issues to religion,” she informed.
She noted women had been complaining that men were creating hurdles obstructing their basic rights. She demanded authorities to work out an inclusive strategy to ensure rights of women in Faryab.
Mohammad Bashir Durrani, an NGO employee, said that his organization in Faryab had registered 1,197 cases of violence against women during the last four years.
Only last year, 389 cases were registered including self-immolation, murder, under-age marriage, child-marriage, forced marriage, and other kinds of harassment, he added.
He said shortage of lawyers to represent women cases had contributed to surge in violence against women. He noted there was dire need to appoint female judges in judicial organs.
Yalda Saeedi, an employee of Afghan Women Educational Centre, told Pajhwok women living in remote areas had been suffering the most, with no access to their rights.
“Insecurity, discrimination, patriarchy, forced marriages, dowry, rape, lack of access to education and awareness programmes are main challenges being faced by women,” she added.
She said that awareness programmes had been launched to build women capacity and enhance education ratio in Faryab.
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