Rights Awarness and Advocacy
Women in Afghanistan enjoy significant rights -on paper at least. The Afghan constitution extends equality to both men and women, the Afghan Civil Code gives women the right to inherit or own property, sets the minimum age for marriage, gives women the right to choose partner as well as initiate marital separation. The election legislation protects women’s right to vote and sets quotas for women to participate in elected bodies. In addition, a range of national programs and policies emphasize the importance of gender equality as a cross-cutting theme.
Although some of these legal protections can be seen in practice, many of them have failed to do so. Child marriage, for example, despite being banned is widely practiced. According to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health 21 percent of women are married by age fifteen and another 53 percent by age eighteen.1 Similarly, women still face barriers in accessing education,2 are routinely excluded from civil service hiring or are denied promotion,3 and are frequently persecuted and incarcerated for moral crimes despite being victims of sexual violence and trafficking.4
We do not want anything more than what our religion and the Afghan Constitution guarantees us but we will no longer be denied our rightsRoshan Siren (Former Afghan MP)
AWEP’s work in upholding the rights of women in Afghanistan is focused on research, support for development, monitoring and implementation of polices and programs that both protect and promote the rights of women in Afghanistan. This is done through:
References [ + ]
|1.||↥||Afghanistan Mortality Survey 2010, table 3.11, “Age at First Marriage” (Afghan Ministry of Public Health, 2010), 52.|
|2.||↥||Jackson, “High Stakes.”|
|3.||↥||“Initial and Second Periodic Report on Implementation of Convention on Elimination of All Forms of|
Discrimination Against Women” (Kabul: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2011).
|4.||↥||Human Rights Watch, ‘I Had to Run Away’: The Imprisonment of Women and Girls for “Moral Crimes” in Afghanistan (Kabul: HRW, 2012).|