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Protecting Defenders of Afghan Women’s Rights


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Protecting Defenders of Afghan Women’s Rights

  1. 1. By Ehsanollah Bayat
  2. 2.  Violence against people who work to advance the rights of women in Afghanistan has increased significantly in recent years. Research has also uncovered a lack of protection from Afghan authorities. Afghanistan has an extensive legal framework to protect women and people who speak up for women’s rights, but these laws often go unenforced. For example, the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women passed in 2009, but it has only been enforced sporadically over the past six years.
  3. 3.  Protection for women and their supporters must come both from the Afghan government and from foreign aid. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs has the potential to enforce protection laws, but its capabilities must be expanded. European Union countries have recently launched a promising program that will provide monitoring and emergency protection for rights defenders. These types of programs will prove critical for safeguarding the hard-won advances in women’s rights during the past decade.