Afghanistan: Few Prosecutions Using Violence against Women Law

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan issued its report: “A Long Way to Go: Implementation of the Elimination of Violence against Women Law in Afghanistan” in November. The report states that prosecutors only utilized the law in 155 cases out of an estimated 2,299 incidents in the two years since the passage of the law. Out of those 155 cases, only 101 judgments employed the law. The report is a culmination of 261 interviews with judicial officers, police officers, and government officials. It also includes United Nations’ research from monitoring cases of violence against women in Afghanistan from March 2010 through September 2011.

The Elimination of Violence Against Women law passed in August 2009. It criminalizes child marriage, forced marriage, selling and buying women for marriage or to settle disputes, and forced self-immolation. While passing the law marked a milestone in movement towards equality for women in Afghanistan, the United Nations mission report highlighted that merely passing the law has not been enough to protect Afghan women.

Compiled from: Christine Kearney, Law Protecting Afghan Women Has “Long Way To Go” – UN, Reuters Africa, 23 November 2011.