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Afghanistan: Defend women’s rights

Jul 04, 2013

Donors should condition government funding on rights gains for women, says Human Rights Watch.

The Afghan government should adopt strong measures to protect women’s rights in advance of the deadline at the end of 2014 for withdrawal of international combat forces, Human Rights Watch said today. On July 10, 2013,Afghanistan will for the first time appear before the United Nations committee that will review its compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

In recent weeks, several incidents have increased concerns about the government’s commitment to women’s rights. In May, President Hamid Karzai told women’s rights activists that he is unable to support further efforts to protect Afghanistan’s law against violence against women. Also in May, an effort to gain parliamentary approval for a key law on violence against women ended in shambles, and the lower house of parliament voted to abolish a set-aside for women on provincial councils.

“President Karzai needs to understand just how high the stakes are for Afghanistan in the debate over women’s rights,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Donors should be clear that if Afghanistan doesn’t defend women’s rights, the money will no longer flow for the army or the police.”

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SOURCE: HRW

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