Afghan Editor Receives Courage in Journalism Award
Afghan journalist Farida Nekzad was honored by the International Women's Media Foundation with a Courage in Journalism Award for her support of women's rights and freedom of the press in Afghanistan. As the managing editor and deputy director of Pajhwok Afghan News, the leading independent news agency in Afghanistan, Nekzad has fought to increase opportunities for women in journalism. "I am working for women to play a role in society and am driven by being a role model for women so they can be encouraged to play an important role and not be silenced, which is not an easy task," said Nekzad when receiving her award.
"For the last year, the situation is worse for women. There are no rights for women and they don't like women to be journalists," she said. Nekzad frequently changes cars while traveling to work and sleeps in different rooms of her house because she fears an attack. Despite repeated death threats and harassment, Nekzad has continued to report on the deteriorating security for women in Afghanistan and on the influence of Afghan warlords.
In a letter to Afghan President Karzai, Reporters Without Borders noted a steady increase in abductions, attacks, death threats and forced resignations by Afghan journalists within the last year. Nekzad encouraged continued pressure from the international community on Afghanistan's government. "This is a manís country and I want to defend women's rights. I'm frightened but I continue in my job and my life."
Media Resources: Reporters Without Borders 12/18/09; International Womenís Media Foundation 12/18/09, The Middle East 12/18/08
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .