Afghanistan: Security and Rule of Law Failing Due to Lack of Funds
Amnesty International issued a report last week on the failure of donor countries in supporting efforts to reestablish the rule of law in Afghanistan. According to the report, "as the international community focuses its attention on post-conflict reconstruction in Iraq, it is crucial that it does not rescind promises made to the Afghan people."
The report goes on to state that "the high level of discrimination against women in Afghanistan is reflected in the criminal justice system. Women victims and defendants are being denied access to justice and are discriminated against by both the formal and informal justice systems." The report details how women and girls who are victims of rape, domestic violence, and forced underage marriage are not being protected under the current system. Women and girls are sometimes even prosecuted and forced to undergo virginity tests for engaging in sexual activity.
This report comes at a time when the security situation in Afghanistan is swiftly deteriorating. Human Rights Watch recently issued a report warning that warlords are threatening the success of the 2004 elections by their use of violence and intimidation, the United Nations withdrew its aid workers from the south due to violence in the area, and over 90 people were killed throughout the country in a week as a result of Taliban attacks and factional fighting.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .