Afghan Women Demand Greater Protection from Government
Four Afghan women's groups came together to demand greater protection from violence against women in a demonstration on Thursday. The demonstration is a response to the recent murder of Safia Amajan, the provincial director of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs for Kandahar and women’s rights crusader. The four groups participating in the demonstration presented a 13-point outline of changes they would like to see within the Afghan government, including: bodyguards and drivers for officials, quick and effective prosecution for terrorists, better pay for police, remuneration for families of terror victims, and international aid for “the root causes of social insecurity and terrorism,” according to Dzeno Association, a Czech Republic newswire.
“This murder of Safia Amajan shows that those fighting against freedom and democracy in Afghanistan are committed to removing women from public life as they are seen as an obstacle to achieving their goals…. The Government and International community must support, protect and encourage women’s full participation and just efforts in all aspects of public life,” said the open letter to President Hamid Karzai released by the Afghan Women's Network, Agency Coordination Body for Afghan Relief, Afghan Civil Society Forum, and the Foundation for Culture and Civil Society.
Violence against women in Afghanistan, especially under the Taliban, is widespread. The Feminist Majority is working to pass the Afghan Women's Empowerment Act, which provides funding for women-led non-profits, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. It is anticipated that Congress will take up the Act when it returns after the November 7 election.
Media Resources: OneWorld 10/9/06; Dzeno Association 10/6/06; OPEN LETTER - On the Assassination of Safia Amajan, Qandahar Women’s Rights Activist 10/06; Combined Statement from Women’s Groups 10/7/06; Press Release from Afghan Women’s Network 10/8/06