Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-09-09

UN Envoy Calls on Afghanistan to Fight Violence Against Women

Kai Eide, the United Nations Special Envoy to Afghanistan, urged Afghan leaders to fight violence against women at a meeting in Kabul where he announced a new UN report on the subject. The report, entitled "Silence is Violence" (see PDF), was written by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and the UN's Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. It combats the idea that women's rights are a luxury which cannot be guaranteed in the face of more pressing security issues and focuses on both sexual violence and violence that inhibits women's societal participation. The report details the types of violence most commonly used against Afghan women, as well as the usual perpetrators of the violence. While the report does not specifically indict government policy as a cause of violence, it does highlight the role that family and community play in the abuse of women.

Dr. Sima Samar, the chairwoman of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, says that the idea that it is more important to "have security rather than human rights...is absolutely the wrong concept, since you need human rights for sustainable peace," reports the Christian Science Monitor.

The report also notes that attacks are most violent against women who lead more public lives, saying that "[t]he pattern of attacks against women operating in the public sphere sends a strong message to all women to stay at home. This has obvious ramifications for the transformation of Afghanistan, the stated priority of Afghan authorities, and their international supporters."

Violence against women and girls has been rising in Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan. Last year, Taliban insurgents were arrested in the case of an acid attack against schoolgirls in the southern city of Kandahar. This year, a young couple was executed by the Taliban after eloping, more than 150 Afghan schoolgirls were hospitalized in three suspected gas attacks on their schools, a woman politician and women's rights activist was murdered outside her Kandahar home, and women protesters were pelted in Kabul while protesting a controversial Shia law that would severely restrict women's rights by legalizing rape within marriage, among other provisions, if enacted.

Media Resources: Christian Science Monitor, 7/8/09; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/15/09, 4/15/09, 4/17/09, 5/12/09, 6/23/09, 11/13/08; Silence is Violence Report; UN Press Release 7/8/09


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

3/27/2015 Security and Women's Rights are Essential to Afghan Recovery - President Ashraf Ghani and a delegation of some 70 plus Afghan leaders came to the US this week to urge Congress and President Obama to extend the deadline for removing support troops from Afghanistan. . . .
 
3/27/2015 Senate 'Vote-A-Rama' Passes Amendments for Equal Pay, Pregnant Workers, Paid Leave, Benefits for Same-Sex Couples - A bipartisan majority of Senators this week voted in favor of budget amendments that show growing momentum for paid sick leave for employees, social security and veterans benefits for same-sex couples, equal pay, and fair treatment for pregnant workers. The votes, though significant, are symbolic. . . .
 
3/25/2015 Afghan Woman Beaten to Death for Burning Koran - A 27-year-old woman ‎who reportedly burned a copy of the Koran inside of a riverside shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan was brutally beaten and burned alive on Thursday. Shocking videos quickly spread on social media showing crowds of men surrounded by hundreds of onlookers assaulting the 27-year-old Farkhunda with bricks and sticks and repeatedly kicking her. . . .