Violence against women falls in Balkh: official
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): The women’s affairs department and the provincial chapter of Afghanistan’s Human Rights Commission (AHRC) hold different views about violence against women in northern Balkh province.
The women’s affairs department says incidents of violence against women have decreased during the first three months of this Afghan calendar year while the rights body says there has been no decline in crimes against the gender.
Women’s Affairs Director Shehla Hadid told Pajhwok Afghan News they had registered 68 incidents of violence against women since March. She said 87 such incidents took place during the same period last year.
She said most of the incidents this year resulted from domestic violence, which could be blamed on extreme poverty.
But AHRC northern office officials say there has been no decrease in violence against women.
Fauzia Nawabi, women’s affairs official on the commission, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had registered 37 cases of violence against women. The cases included murders, sexual attacks, suicide, runaway from homes and giving into marriages to settle disputes.
She said the victims had themselves approached the commission to register their cases and if such cases registered with the women’s affairs department, police, public health, court and the attorney’s office were collected, their number would be much higher.
“That’s why we say violence against women has increased not decreased,” she said, stressing awareness among women about the law protecting their rights.
Nawabi called ignorance the main problem which often led to violent acts and had turned into a culture.
She said several civil society groups had obtained projects and funds in the name of working for women’s rights, but they had failed to carry out essential tasks.
She said the government should take realistic steps to improve the situation of women, particularly in rural areas.
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