EVAW law’s parliamentary approval to check violence
KABUL (Pajhwok): Civil society groups and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on Sunday said not approving the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) Law by the parliament could be blamed for the increasing crimes against the gender.
The bill was decreed into law through an executive order by former president Hamid Karzai in July 2009, when the parliament was in recess.
During such periods, the Constitution allows the president to issue decrees for emergency purposes, but the Constitution also requires such decrees to be forwarded to parliament for approval.
The law criminalises child marriage, selling and buying women to settle disputes, assault and more than a dozen other acts of violence and abuse against women.
A gathering “We Support Elimination of Violence against Women’ was arranged by the Afghan Civil Society Institutes Network for Peace in Kabul. The participants stressed that the EVAW law should be approved by the parliament.
The network’s head, Humaira Saqib, said one thing the Afghan women had gained during the past 14 years was the EVA law which needed to be fully enforced.
“The Wolesi Jirga has adopted a stance of ignorance about the law, but we want the bill to be approved,” she said.
Fawzia Kufi, Wolesi Jirga’s women commission head, said some women in the lower house had opposed the law without knowing about it.
“I wish the law had been introduced to people through seminars and workshops before it was landed in parliament so that people would have understood it well,” she said, adding that any law that concerned women was always opposed by some lawmakers.
Citing an example, she said, when the president introduced a woman as member for the Supreme Court Council, she was rejected by lawmakers.
AIHRC representative Latifa Sultani said several years had passed, but the EVAW law could not be approved by the parliament.
She asked the government to press for approval of the law in order to check growing violence against women in the country.
According to the AIHRC, more than 2,000 cases of violence against women cases were registered during the first three months of the ongoing solar year, compared to 2,500 cases during the entire last year.
Sultani said most of the victims of suicide attacks, roadside bombings, illegal courts, harassment and torture happened to be women.
A week ago, Taliban militants killed a couple on adultery charges in the Warduj district of northeastern Badakhshan province.
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