Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Work of women’s shelters a contentious issue in Afghanistan

Tales of beatings, forced marriage, and spousal infidelity, and thoughts of self-immolation are all commonly reported by women in Afghanistan. Since the implementation of democracy in Afghanistan, shelters have opened for women fleeing menacing conditions, The Washington Post reported today.

Since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, new government and civil society bodies dedicated to the protection of women’s rights have cropped up in Afghanistan. Coinciding with these developments, shelters for women seeking refuge have opened. However, these shelters remain controversial in Afghan society. While civil laws provide sufficient protection for women, it is the conservative Afghan culture that takes precedence, as both powerful families and men hold much influence in the court of law. Additionally, while many women have found the strength to flee abusive relationships, they cannot bring themselves to openly speak out against the conditions they were forced to live under.

Medica Mondiale, a German human rights group, defends Afghan women charged with infidelity and other offenses. Since 2003, they have assisted in 750 cases. However, these types of services are limited in rural areas.

For the full article, click here.


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