FM President Leads Call for Expansion of Peace Troops in Afghanistan
Delivering the keynote address at the National Council of Women’s Organizations’ Women’s Equality Summit and Action Day, Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal called for a national women's campaign in support of peace troop expansion and more U.S. resources for Afghanistan's reconstruction. "Peace and security must be established across Afghanistan to enable the restoration of women's rights, the reconstruction of the country, and the establishment of democracy," said Smeal. "In addition, we must not fool ourselves that women's safety in Afghanistan is secure when women continue to fear violence and the imposition of Taliban-like restrictions by regional warlords."
The Bush Administration has rejected pleas from the United Nations and Afghan Interim Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai to permit an expansion of the 4,800 international peacekeeping troops beyond Kabul. UN and Afghan officials believe that the immediate expansion of international peace troops is absolutely essential to disarmament, de-escalation of conflicts among warlords, preservation of women's rights and human rights, delivery of humanitarian assistance, and the success of the loya jirga process that will determine the next stage of the transition government.
Asking, “Where has the American spirit gone?” Smeal also urged the quick delivery of desperately needed resources to the Afghan Interim Administration, especially the Ministry for Women's Affairs. Although the Women's Ministry has received pledges of support from around the world, it has received very little in actual funds to begin the crucial legal advocacy, education, vocational training, and women's health programs necessary to begin to undo the devastation caused by the Taliban regime and the 23 years of unending war.
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. . . .