Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, August 8th, 2020

Long Way Ahead to Fight for Women Rights: UNHCR

Long Way Ahead to Fight for Women Rights: UNHCR

KABUL - Afghan women continue to face serious threats and injustice despite massive efforts at both a countrywide and international level to improve their situation.

There has been substantial progress in women's rights, but there is still a long way to go, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) in Afghanistan said on Thursday.

"We are concerned with the very high levels of violence against women and the fact that many women are in prison for moral crimes," UNHCR director Georgette Gagnon told TOLOnews on the eve International Women's Day, March 8.

"Now the government has attempted to address this by passing the Elimination of Violence Against Women law. And while we have seen some improvement... we haven't seen strong enough action taken by the government to actually prosecute people for violating this law. So we would like to see stronger implementation of this."

"We're also concerned about women's participation in political sphere, in the public sphere... They still often face discrimination and violence," Gagnon added.

Women have gradually moved into working in jobs across most sectors of society, including the military and law enforcement, which is hoped will help respect and equal justice in the years to come.

Around 25 women are even working in Afghanistan's Special Police.

"If the men, our brothers, come here to serve to secure the country then the girls and our sisters can also serve the country," Afghan special forces officer Lida Ebdali told TOLOnews.

Special Forces commander Jalaludin Yaftaly said the women who fight have to be even more tough than the men.

"If a heroes medal is given to anyone, I think it should be given to the female special forces officers because they face a lots of problems and they really are champions who are carrying out difficult things," he told TOLOnews.

Afghanistan's first female district governor Sahira Shakib said she feels happy to serve despite the challenges.

"When the people come to my office [for help] it makes me to feel good. I have had from before until now the desire to serve my family, my tribe, and my nation," she said.

The government law seeking to eliminate violence against women focused on eradicating things such as child marriage, forced marriage, and rape. But these issues, and more continue.

Many criticize the government inaction on such cases saying that the laws are merely symbolic because they are rarely enforced. (Tolo News)