UN Secretary Kofi Annan this week condemned the Taliban decree ordering Hindus to wear a yellow identification badge. The US, India, and other countries have also denounced the badges, likening them to the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany. The badge is the most recent of the Taliban militiaís extreme and oppressive decrees. The Talibanís religious police, the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, are responsible for patrolling the streets, shops, and hospitals of the Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan (about 90% of the country). They are empowered to jail a man for having a beard smaller than his fist, lash a woman for showing bare skin, or close a shop if the owner fails to attend mosque five times a day. Women are barred from working outside the home, except in hospitals. Recently, the Taliban raided a hospital where men and women were working because they dined in the same cafeteria (separated by a curtain). Television, independent radio, and musical instruments are also banned.
The Feminist Majority Foundation continues to encourage the U.S. government to send increased aid to Afghan refugees fleeing from the Taliban. Take Action Now
Media Resources: Reuters, Azadi Afghan Radio, Feminist Majority Foundation
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. . . .