PAN, March 8, 2010
Violence against women persists in Herat
More than 350 of the cases concerned beatings and burning
Despite efforts at improving their overall situation, women continue to be the target of violence in western Herat province, officials said on the International Women's Day.
The Women Affairs Directorate said on Monday 633 cases of violence against females were reported in the province during the last solar year. More than 350 of the cases concerned beatings and burning.
As the world marks International Women’s Day, ambivalence, impunity, weak law enforcement and corruption continue to undermine women’s rights in Afghanistan, despite a July 2009 law banning violence against women, rights activists say.
Over the past two years more than 1,900 cases of violence against women in 26 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces - from verbal abuse to physical violence - have been recorded in a database run by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and UNIFEM.
IRIN, Mar. 8, 2010
Human rights officer at the directorate, Soraya Baleegh, told Pajhwok Afghan News the cases were linked to an increase in the number of drug addicts and growing poverty.
She attributed the rising addiction to a lack of rehabilitation facilities and non-implementation of drug-control programmes by the government. Also registered with the authorities were 75 cases, in which women sought divorce from husbands.
Director of Women Affairs Manizha Sadiq believed females were growing in self-confidence and awareness of their rights as a result of education. They are increasingly reporting cases of violence in a bid to find solution to their problems.
Farishta, who participated in a ceremony marking the International Women's Day, said most of women were forced by tradition and customs to accept the decisions taken by their men.
The 35-year-old added some women were even forced into marriages against their choice, which created a number of problems. The practice ran counter to the principles of Islam, she argued.
She deplored the imposition of unwholesome traditions on women, marrying off girls to settle disputes and debts and depriving them of education in the name of honour.
Women rights activist Lailuma Nomani acknowledged improvement in situation of women in Herat. But she underlined the need for long-term government programmes for the empowerment of women. She also lamented the inclusion of few women in the new cabinet.
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