A Case Study of Afghan Women’s Rights Essay

Afghanistan has experienced about three decennaries of uninterrupted struggle. which has undermined the physical and sexual security of Afghan adult females in rural every bit good as urban environments. In a historical analysis. colza prevalence and sexual force are straight related to cultural struggle and warring cabals. The International Coalition has exacerbated the job of warlord-dominance in the countryside by using Northern Alliance reserves in the “War on Terror. ” These reservess have records of extended human rights maltreatments and war offenses. including the commission of systemic colza runs for ethnic-cleansing. Human rights abuses force Afghan adult females to populate in panic. 1 Sixteen-year-old Nazia’s household wedded her to a forty-year-old adult male. Mumtaz. in September 2007. 2 Two hebdomads subsequently. her hubby beat her for no obvious ground. 3 Mumtaz had become leery that Nazia met other work forces in secret. so he beat her until she fainted

. 4 He tied her down and broke her dentitions with a rock. 5 He poured boiling H2O on her pess. 6 When Nazia later did non cook dinner for him because she could non stand. he tied her up and beat her once more. 7 While digesting the force. she felt an tormenting hurting in her left and right ears and tasted blood fluxing down her face. 8 Mumtaz had cut off her ears and her nose with hisknife. 9 Nazia’s narrative. told from her infirmary bed in Qalat. Afghanistan. 10 serves as an illustration of the predicament of adult females in Afghanistan11 and the human rights misdemeanors targeted atwomen. 12 Human rights maltreatments against Afghan adult females occur daily. 13 Women face penalty such as public tannings. lapidations. and imprisonment for unwittingly exposing their mortise joints or for have oning brilliantly colored places. ’

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14 Although Afghanistan’s current fundamental law. 15 and the international pacts 16 to which Afghanistan is a signer. recite equal rights for adult females and work forces. 17 hapless jurisprudence enforcement. deficiency of consciousness about women’s rights. and conservative traditions 18 prevent the promise of equal rights from going a world. 19 Despite these warrants of women’s cardinal rights. important challenges remain for Afghan adult females in footings of implementing the constitutional commissariats. and accommodating the more conservative and male-dominated facets of Afghan society with culturally matter-of-fact constructs of gender equality. 20 The 2003 Constitution besides requires that Afghanistan abide by international conventions that it has signed. 21 including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women ( “CEDAW” ) . 22 yet Afghan adult females and misss continue to endure from entrenched favoritism throughout the state.

23 As a consequence. Afghanistan is presently a oasis for terrible human rights maltreatments against adult females and misss. 24 Womans are the victims of favoritism and human rights maltreatments because Islamic societies frequently interpret human rights for adult females to conflict with Islamic jurisprudence. 25 Afghanistan is one of these societies. 26 Despite equal rights for adult females and work forces written in the 2003 Constitution. Afghan adult females are non afforded rights equal to work forces in pattern. and they soon live in panic. 27 This remark addresses gender rights in Afghanistan. concentrating on go oning human rights violations28 despite Afghanistan’s international pact duties 29 and prohibitions against favoritism in the 200

3 Afghan Constitution.

A member of the Bamyan Provincial Council. Wahidi Beheshti. is accused of killing a immature miss named Shakila on January 22 this twelvemonth in his ain house in Bamyan state. She had been raped by Beheshti and so killed with a gun of his escort. Beheshti’s household claimed Shakila had committed self-destruction ; nevertheless forensics proved that she had been killed. Wahidi Beheshti denied any engagement in the affair but the constabulary had besides said that Shakila had been killed with a gun of Beheshti’s escort Qurban. Besides the forensics who performed the post-mortem said they had found grounds that Shakila had been raped by Beheshti before she was killed. Harmonizing to Mohammad Alam. Shakila’s brother. both Beheshti and his nephew Abdul Wahab were present at the scene of the slaying but both denied their presence. He had told Bokhdi News Agency. “Wahidi Beheshti threatened my household by phone several times and demanded that we cooperate with them so that the affair is resolved softly. He promised in his phone calls that he will pay the tribunal money to free Qurban ( accused of slaying ) and wrap up the affair in whatever manner possible. ”

Wahidi Beheshti’s brother Fokori Beheshti is a member of the parliament and his male parent was a strongman in the country during the 1990s. The instance is under deliberation in a tribunal in Bamyan state but Beheshti’s powerful brother and friends are seeking to liberate him by any agencies possible. Harmonizing to beginnings Fokori Beheshti. Said Hussain Anwari and Said Alimi Balkhi ( all members of the national assembly ) have pressurized the constabulary forensics non to show grounds of Shakila’s colza by Wahidi Beheshti to the tribunal. In a state where alleged lawgivers colza and kill an guiltless miss. it is merely natural to anticipate obstructor of justness.

There are 1000s of Shakilas who die victims or populate a life of hurting and agonies. and 100s of Beheshtis who roam about freely thanks to the impunity given to them by cruel local commanding officers. misogynist lawgivers and Judgess. and finally the corrupt Mafia authorities. 30 During the audiences. a bulk of adult females expressed that they have non meaningfully participated in be aftering for the Security Transition. In the states where Passage has yet to officially get down. adult females do non believe they will be involved in audiences to find future programs. stairss. and activities associated with the transportation of security authorization.

Recent audiences besides revealed that adult females do non experience that Afghan National Security Forces are antiphonal to women’s demands and do non continue human rights criterions. Women perceive Afghan National Security Forces as non holding the full capacity and expertness necessary to turn to the security demands of Afghan citizens. particularly adult females and kids. They besides believe that in recent old ages. small attending has been given to construct the capacity of ANSF to better civilian attachment to bing Torahs and progress regulation of jurisprudence by showing that people who violate Torahs will be punished. However. adult females still expressed a strong involvement in the international community go oning to work to construct the capacity and adequately resource the ANSF.

Policy shapers in Afghanistan reiterate once more and once more that passage is non about military and security affairs entirely. nevertheless practical experience on the land shows that there isn’t equal attending paid to bettering regulation of jurisprudence. administration. and entree to justness. Similarly. it is ill-defined how such procedures are impacting women’s security. Passage should get down from a citizen-articulated vision in which adult females and work forces of Afghanistan take duty for their better hereafter.

The route map for the issue of international forces is necessary ; nevertheless. an accelerated backdown will endanger the investings of human life and material resources liberally contributed by more than 40 states. non to advert the legion casualties of Afghan National Security Forces and tremendous forfeit by the this country’s adult females. work forces and kids. Women organisations and militants have better entree to local communities and are cognizant about the challenges and causes of insecurity in their communities ; therefore they should be consulted and included to guarantee that security and passage programs are implemented successfully.


A. Treatment of Women in Afghanistan from the Rule of the Soviet Union to the Present Following civil war in Afghanistan in 1978. the Soviet Union took control of Afghanistan and created many chances for adult females. including aggressive literacy plans. 31 Under the Soviet Union’s Communist regimefrom 1979 to 1992. Afghan adult females enjoyed equal rights and societal. economic. and political freedom. 32 In the 1980s. the Communists enforced equal rights for adult females and work forces in a civil-war-torn Afghanistan. 33 As a consequence. adult females held a greater figure of concern. jurisprudence enforcement. and Parliament places than they did prior to the civil war. 34 Furthermore. instruction and employment became more socially acceptable for adult females. 35 As a consequence. adult females assumed places as attorneies. entertainers. and physicians. 36 As portion of this greater freedom. adult females saw more educational. employment. and professional chances. 37 In 1979. female pupils even outnumbered male pupils at universities. 38In 1992. 39 the Communist government fell and the Islamic State of Afghanistan assumed control. 40 Subsequently. the “rights and self-respect of adult females went out the window

41 The 1977 fundamental law that guaranteed equal rights for adult females and work forces was “thrown out 42 The Islamic State of Afghanistan began to take women’s rights consistently. and institutionalised assorted misdemeanors against adult females. 43 In 1993. the Islamic State of Afghanistan ruled adult females must be wholly covered. adult females could non have on aroma or make-up. and women’s freedom and mobility would be restricted. 44The justification for these opinions was that work forces go excessively aroused by adult females and are tempted to roll from the Islamic manner of life. and the limitations on adult females cut down this enticement. 45 In add-on. other. more violent human rights maltreatments towards adult females occurred under the Islamic State of Afghanistan. such as anguish. colza. and sexual maltreatment. 46 Interestingly. besides in 1993. as portion of the Vienna Declaration. 47 Afghanistan officially reaffirmed its “faith in cardinal human rights. in the self-respect and worth of the human individual. and in the equal rights of work forces and adult females

48 The Vienna Declaration besides stressed the importance of extinguishing force against adult females and “any struggles that may originate between the rights of adult females and the harmful effects of certain traditional or customary patterns. cultural biass and spiritual extremism. 49 Despite Afghanistan’s portion in the Vienna Declaration. human rights maltreatments against adult females continued as the Taliban 50 emerged as a volatile presence in Afghanistan. 51 Taliban regulation. which lasted from 1996 to 2001. 52 resulted in major reverses for adult females. 53 The Taliban developed as a political-religious force. 54 and finally seized the metropoliss of Kandahar in 1994. Herat in 1995. and Kabul. Afghanistan’s capital. in 1996. 55 Before the Taliban captured Kabul. adult females made up 70 per centum of instructors. 40 per centum of physicians. and by and large worked in all countries of employment. 56 After the Taliban to the full seized power. it badly oppressed women’s rights.

57 The oppressive Taliban policies violated United Nations pacts. but the Taliban asserted that the treaties’ responsibilities were inconsistent with spiritual jurisprudence and cultural patterns. 58 The Taliban began by shuting all schools for misss and prohibiting adult females to work outside the house. 59 The Taliban imposed regulations on adult females. curtailing their freedom of motion. frock. instruction. and employment. 60 The adult females and misss who violated these regulations received penalties. including whippings on the streets. amputation of limbs. and public executings. 61 The Taliban justified its patterns in conformity with its reading of the Quran. 62claiming to follow a pure. fundamentalist Islamic political orientation. 63 Taliban leaders enforced the jurisprudence as they saw tantrum and prohibited differing reading.

64 The predicament of Afghan adult females populating under the Taliban government became an issue of planetary concern. 65 After the terrorist onslaughts on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11. 2001. and the subsequent United States military invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. the Taliban government collapsed. 66 This development presented adult females with the chance to contend for gender equality. 67On December 5. 2001. the Bonn Agreements 68 mandated that the Transitional Administration of Afghanistan set up a Constitutional Commission to outline a new fundamental law. 69 The Constitutional Commission’s authorization was to determine the Afghan people’s desires. both within the state and abroad. sing their new fundamental law. 70 The 35 member committee drafted the new fundamental law. 71 Seven of the 35 committee members were adult females. 72 which ensured the “participation of adult females in the fundamental law doing process73 As portion of the outlining committee. Afghan adult females were eventually able to play a function in turn toing women’s cardinal rights in the 2003 Constitution. 74


War and political insecurity in Afghanistan are straight related to ravish incidence and sexual force. particularly under a free reign of ethnically divided reserves cabals. By authorising the Northern Alliance reserves. the international community has created a long-run institutional job that will sabotage the democratic passage. Not merely do these warlords have the military capacity to impact the electoral procedures in their vicinities. but their de facto regulation of the countryside besides incapacitates the cardinal authorization in keeping effectual administration. The preponderance of warlords has besides been legitimized through the democratic procedure. which offers reserves commanding officers an chance to prosecute the political procedure in an official capacity while in secret keeping their condemnable and military powers. As a consequence. the international community has made the long-run presence of alliance military forces necessary for keeping jurisprudence and order.

Because the international community empowered these reservess in the War on Terror. the presence of international forces is required to maintain the commanding officers under control. in order to avoid the ferociousness and force of the civil war period. The recent determination by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO ) to increase the figure of International Security Assistance Force ( ISAF ) troops to spread out the international mission into the unstable countryside is the most recent effort to bolster the cardinal government’s effectivity in the rural parts. 75 The expanded mission has been hailed as the solution to passage from warlord regulation to democratic self-governance. The Canadian military late announced that its new troop contingent expects to stay in Kandahar state for up to 20 old ages to assist reconstruct the state and prevent another prostration into civil war. These forces are expected to move as a stabilising force to maintain warlords in cheque.

However. a long-run international presence might be dismaying to Afghans who have a history of deep xenophobia and ill will towards busying forces. Furthermore. regional and international power battles between Pakistan and India. and the USA and Russia have exacerbated Afghanistan’s internal atomization. as international military forces continue to mobilise paramilitary groups against their challengers. Afghan people have besides grown leery of the international human-centered docket in Afghanistan. which diverts a bulk per centum of international financess to private security and foreign wages. instead than nutrient. medical specialty. or other vitally needed supplies for Afghan people.

There are four cardinal actions that the International Coalition and civil society histrions must see in order to rectify the political pandemonium that has emerged in the post-Taliban period. which undermines the rights and protection of Afghan adult females. First. American forces must halt funding reserves for usage against the Taliban and al-Qa’ida in the War on Terror. By using these proxy reserves. the international community has disempowered Afghan people and undermined the capacity of the cardinal authorities to protect its citizens and implement its Torahs. The ensuing political instability and preponderance of foreign-backed warlords and reserves groups in the countryside besides straight threatens both the physical and sexual security of rural Afghan adult females. Second. the warlords that the US-led alliance co-opted during the violative against the Taliban. who now hold official Parliamentary and Cabinet places in the cardinal authorities. must be stripped of their political power in the new democracy.

Furthermore. those warlords accused of war offenses and offenses against humanity. including sexual maltreatment. must be brought before both local tribunals and international courts. In order to set up a civilization of societal rapprochement and peace-building. all human rights misdemeanors committed during the four war periods must be resolved through legal and societal mechanisms that provide colza victims with the chance to seek justness for atrociousnesss perpetrated against them. Traditional values. particularly those refering to adult females. the household. and societal justness. must be considered in the development of Torahs that address force against adult females. Third. in order to turn to the survival demands of the bulk of Afghan adult females. international civil society histrions must put in rural development. wellness. and instruction. and co-operate with local spouse organisations. Currently. international support for human-centered aid is directed chiefly towards the more stable and accessible urban environments. where international organisations have developed stray communities of affluent ex-patriots.

Rampant accusals that non-governmental organisations have squandered Afghanistan’s international support through doubtful undertakings and exalted wages for foreign workers must besides be investigated. in order to set up legitimacy and answerability within the civil society web. The creative activity of an internationally-sponsored. government-monitored. socially responsible. and grassroots civil society in rural Afghanistan would authorise rural adult females in their communities and increase the capacity of the cardinal authorities in the anarchic countryside. Fourth. the traditional Islamic civilization and values of Afghans must be respected in the development of women’s rights policies.

Historically. Afghans have opposed extremist alterations in women’s societal and legal position. particularly those that they perceived violated the rules of Islamic jurisprudence. In order to keep a gloss of legitimacy with rural peoples. the international community must show an apprehension of and esteem for traditional norms and Islamic spiritual values. including those refering to adult females. By runing within culturally sensitive models. the international community would avoid hostile recoil and better reference the demands of Afghan adult females.

The failure of the province of Afghanistan remains the most cardinal obstruction in the publicity of gender equality. as without the strength to implement domestic legal and political reforms in rural countries. the authorities is ineffective in most of the state. The International Coalition in Afghanistan must discontinue authorising and enabling warlords and reserves commanding officers for convenient military intents. which basically impedes attempts to convey rapers and human rights lawbreakers to justice in local and international spheres. Alliance forces and the international community must besides stay witting of the deep Islamic character of the Afghan people. as it pertains to cultural norms that apply to adult females. sex. and household dealingss.

The recommendations listed above physique upon and addendum the concrete recommendations developed by Afghan adult females who have advocated for their inclusion in peace and security procedures over many old ages. Each clip. adult females have worked to develop solutions for what needs to be done to better their state of affairs. AWN brings a figure of these recommendations back to the memory of policy shapers who may hold read Afghan Women Position Paper toward Bonn and Beyond. This is a contemplation to measure the degree of earnestness and attending that might hold been put towards the demands of adult females since September 2011.

1. Women’s organisation should be included in planing. monitoring and measuring indexs that measure the impact of passage on adult females. Passage determinations should be based. in portion. on consequences of this monitoring. 2. The enlisting of Afghan Local Police ( ALP ) and other security alternate demands to include a crystalline vetting procedure so that former and current warlords with old record of human rights misdemeanors do non automatically go portion of the national forces. A part of the vetting procedure should be community based. leting women’s groups and adult females from communities to describe on the background of the freshly enrolled security forces 3. Womans leaders in authorities and civil society are under changeless onslaught. while it is necessary to guarantee women’s protection in general. adult females leaders’ protection demands to be a precedence as per their critical function as agents of alteration in society against conservative elements taking Afghanistan back to 1990.

4. The Afghan authorities should hold a clear coverage procedure for the human rights instruments and international Torahs that it has signed and needs to show that Afghan Torahs are non in contradiction with its international legal committednesss for adult females.

5. A joint International Afghanistan War Memory Commission should be created so that the past 30 old ages of war misdemeanors are identified and there is a certification procedure as a affair of struggle bar. Such an probe does non hold to reason in a legal test but a memory of war and the beginning of a healing procedure. Otherwise. the pattern of impunity will non unify Afghans towards a regulation of jurisprudence civilization.


Afghanistan is still a oasis for gender force and favoritism despite equal rights enumerated in the Afghan Constitution. 76The Afghan Constitution requires that Afghanistan abide by the UDHR. the U. N. Charter. and other international pacts to which Afghanistan is a signer. 77 However. these rights are unfulfilled in pattern due to jobs with the bench. such as deficiency of preparation and corruptness. 78 and the deficiency of consciousness among the Afghan people of the jurisprudence. 79 To rectify these jobs. Afghanistan should construe its Constitution in conformity with Islamic Torahs following the illustrations of Iran80 and Egypt81 Afghanistan should develop the bench non merely on secular jurisprudence. but on how to construe the Constitution and international jurisprudence in conformity with Sharia.

If executable. respected Muslim Judgess from Egypt should supply counsel to Afghanistan’s Judgess. Furthermore. Afghanistan should at the same time circulate information like the Bench Book 82 to increase women’s consciousness and apprehension of their rights and the procedural mechanisms to describe violation upon their rights. As Afghanistan continues to develop and beef up its legal substructure within the model of Islamic jurisprudence. progressive reading of the Sharia is necessary in order for constitutional Torahs to be accepted and followed by Muslims. 83 As the people of Afghanistan go more cognizant of the Torahs that govern their province and as they accept that women’s rights rules can co-exist with Islamic rules. women’s engagement in society and political relations will better. This would be a big and delinquent measure for Afghanistan.


1. See Jessica Nash. Editorial. Afghan Women Forced to Populate in Terror. W. GEORGIAN. Oct. 17. 2007. hypertext transfer protocol: //media. World Wide Web. thewestgeorgian. com/media/storage/paper523/news/2007/10/1 7/Opinion/Afghan. Womans. Forced. To. Live. In. Terror-3035567-page2. shtml. 2. Nazia Afghanistan: “My Husband Cut off My Ears and Nose and Broke My Teeth. ” IRIN NEWS. Dec. 26. 2007.
hypertext transfer protocol: //www. irinnews. org/HOVReport. aspx? ReportId=76003. 3. Id.

4. Id.
5. Id.
6. Id.
7. Id.
8. Nazia Afghanistan: “My Husband Cut off My Ears and Nose and Broke My Teeth. ” supra note 2. 9. Id. ( demoing images of the mutilation ) .
10. Id.
11. Michael Stittle. Warlords No Better Than Taliban. Says Afghan MP. CTV NEWS. Nov. 8. 2007. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. ctv. ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071107/Malalai-Joya 071107/20071107/ . 12. See Nash. supra note 1.

13. See id.
14. Id.
15. The 502 delegate Loya Jirga ( “Grand Council” ) passed the 2003 Afghan Constitution on January 4. 2004. which governs Afghanistan today. JAMES INGALUS. THE NEW AFGHAN CONSTITUTION: A STEP BACKWARDS FOR DEMOCRACY 1-2 ( 2004 ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //www. fpif. org/papers/2004afghanconst. hypertext markup language. 16. See infra notes 105-09 and attach toing text.

17. See infra notes 87-90.
18. Women Workers Exposed to Health Risks in Herat Factories. IRIN NEWS. Oct. 30. 2007. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. irinnews. org/Report. aspx? ReportId=75048. 19. See. e. g. . Nash. supra note 1 ( explicating that women’s freedoms are restricted every twenty-four hours in Afghanistan ) . 20. Horia Mosadiq. The New Afghan Constitution: How Women Succeeded in Ensuring Certain Rights and What Challenges Remain. 3 CRITICAL HALF 28. 28 ( 2005 ) . available at hypertext transfer protocol: //www. womenforwomen. org/news-women-forwomen/ files/crit-half/CHJournalv3. pdf. 21. AFG. CONST. art. 7. available at hypertext transfer protocol: //afghanland. com/history/constitution. hypertext markup language. 22. United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: States Parties. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. un. org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/states. htm ( last visited Oct. 18.
2008 ) [ hereinafter CEDAW: States Parties ] . 23. Human Rights Watch. More Business Than Usual: The Work Which Awaits the Human Rights Council. Mar. 12. 2007. hypertext transfer protocol: //hrw. org/englisb/docs/2007/03/12/sudanl5471. htm [ hereinafter HRW. More Business Than Usual ] . 24. Id.

25. Katherine M. Weaver. Comment. Women’s Rights and Shari’a Law: A Feasible World? An Examination of Possible International Human Rights Approaches through the Continuing Reform of the Pakistani Hudood Ordinance. 17 DUKE J. COMP. & A ; INT’L L. 483. 483 ( 2007 ) . 26. See supra notes 15-21 and attach toing text. 27. See Nash. supra note 1. 28. HRW. More Business Than Usual. supra note 23 ( “Afghan adult females and misss continue to endure from entrenched favoritism throughout the state. ” ) . 29. CEDAW: States Parties. supra note 22. Afghanistan acceded the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on March 5. 2003. Id. 30. See http: //www. rawa. org/temp/runews/2012/07/18/a-member-of-bamyan-s-provincial-council-accused-of-raping-and-murdering-a-teenage-girl. hypertext markup language.


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