Sun, 19 Sep 2021

New York [US], August 5 (ANI): Justice for women's rights offenders in Afghanistan remains elusive and the law that aims to provide legal protection to women is becoming ineffectual as the Taliban makes more territorial gains across the country, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.

As the Taliban are making territorial gains in Afghanistan due to US troops withdrawal, the current Afghan state, and women's rights, in particular, are under threat, the rights group said.

The 32-page report by HRW, "'I Thought Our Life Might Get Better': Implementing Afghanistan's Elimination of Violence against Women Law," highlights the experiences of Afghan women in their attempts to pursue justice against family members and others responsible for the violence.

The rights group found that limited enforcement of the landmark Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) law has left many women and girls with no path to key protections and justice.

With the Taliban making sweeping territorial gains, the prospect of a Taliban-dominated government also threatens constitutional and international law protections for Afghan women's fundamental rights.

"Gains by Taliban forces as the United States completes its troop withdrawal leaves the current Afghan state, and women's rights in particular, uncertain," HRW said.

Back in 2009, the Afghan government passed the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW Law) through a presidential decree to promote human rights and specifically women's rights. The EVAW law makes 22 acts of abuse toward women criminal offenses, including rape, forced marriage, and prohibiting a woman or girl from going to school or work.

Despite falling short of expectations, it introduced the establishment and expansion of legal aid groups and the training of a cadre of female lawyers, prosecutors, and judges, which have resulted in improvements in legal protections for women.

"But as the opposition armed group, the Taliban, have made territorial gains, the prospect of a Taliban-dominated government or descent into fragmented civil war threatens the existing constitutional order, including provisions guaranteeing women's equality and the EVAW law," HRW said. (ANI)

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