The Independent Human Rights Commission (HRC) says violent crime against women in Afghanistan hit record levels and became increasingly brutal in 2015.
The struggle to secure women’s rights in Afghanistan has been an embattled one. After years of faltering campaigns, the landmark Elimination of Violence against Women Act (EVAW) was passed in 2009 by presidential decree.
The unprecedented law criminalises 22 offences, from forced prostitution to denying women their inheritance prescribes punishments for offenders and outlines a number of state responsibilities Most significantly, Article 6 enshrines seven victims’ rights, including the right of prosecution, legal representation and compensation.
According to HRC, the most violence against Afghan women link to family and political killings.
HRC voices concern over increase of field trails and destination between the government and people.
The increase in recorded attacks is in part the product of a welcome trend: the more women learn about their rights, the more they come forward to report attacks. But many are pessimistic about how long these small gains will last.
As the war in Afghanistan enters its fourteen year, the concern is that hard-won rights for women will unravel after the departure of international soldiers and aid workers.
Securing women’s rights had become one of the prime justifications for intervention. Activists fear that the prospect of withdrawal has fuelled an attitude of impunity, contributing to the intensification of attacks against women.
According to UN Women Chief Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka violence against women in Afghanistan is “pandemic,” with 87.2 percent of women experiencing some form of physical, psychological, sexual, economic or social violence.
2015 is a year of flux for Afghanistan. With a looming general election, crumbing economy and concerns over security, activists fear a worsening of the already hostile environment for women in Afghanistan.