The government of Afghanistan has recently introduced a bill that wrests control of women’s shelters in Afghanistan from the local Afghan women’s NGOs that have founded and run them, and transfers that control to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA). This bill could become the law of the land ANY DAY NOW.
If this bill becomes law:Women and girls seeking shelter will be required to plead their case before an eight-member Government panel, including conservative members of the Supreme Court and Ministry of Justice. This panel will determine whether a woman needs to be in a shelter or should be sent to jail or returned to her home (and her abuser).
Women will have to undergo “forensic” exams (virginity tests) to determine whether they have had sex and therefore committed adultery. The tests are medically invalid.
Once admitted to a shelter, women will be forbidden to leave. Their shelter will become their prison.
There is no discussion in the bill of women’s human rights, of the horrific abuse that most women in shelters have suffered and fled. The bill discusses shelter food but not how women’s rights will be protected and justice achieved.
And perhaps worst of all, if any family member comes to claim her, even her abuser, she will be handed over to that person, in most cases to be subjected to the harshest retribution for shaming the family.
Read more and sign the petition here.
We (the undersigned) demand without delay be created an INTERNATIONAL COURT AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE committed in The Democratic Republic Of Congo from 1993 to this day.
To read the full petition and sign please click here.
There is a new initiative underway at the United Nations to bolster women’s equal participation in peacebuilding and you can help.
Modern conflicts have developed a disturbing trend – women often suffer the most, including as targets of systematic sexual violence, and yet, their voices are not included when peace is negotiated. Less than 10% of those negotiating peace deals are women. You can help change this!
Ten years ago, the United Nations Security Council called for women’s equal participation in peacebuilding in the groundbreaking resolution 1325. But its implementation in countries has been too slow.
The petition urges Governments to take steps to implement the resolution – such as recruiting more women in police forces and peacekeeping operations, ensuring more women participate in peace negotiations, prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence and excluding them from armies and police forces after conflict.
By signing on to the 1325 Petition we can make a powerful statement to the UN Security Council when it convenes to discuss how to fulfil the commitments in resolution 1325 in October 2010.
Please sign on and share the information with your friends and networks: