Womankind Releases New Report on Afghan Women
Wednesday, November 1, 2006 9:29 AM

Womankind Worldwide, an international NGO based in London, has been reporting on the status of women in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001.  Taking Stock: Afghan Women and Girls Five Years On released in October 2006, is the third such report, following reports after six and sixteen months. 

With the fall of the Taliban in 2001, international aid flooded into the area, with much of the focus around the status of women and girls under the oppressive regime.  Women are part of the newly elected parliament, and women were granted equality under Article 22 of the new Constitution.  Peace building and women's rights are measured through recommendations provided in UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security to ensure protection of the rights of women and girls in the rebuilding process.

Despite all of this attention, violence against women and girls continues.  Some practices, such as honor killings and child marriage, are actually increasing.  While much of the abuse goes unreported to officials, Afghanistan, and women's rights in particular, receives less Western media attention and less aid.  Much of the aid directed to Afghanistan focuses on military action rather than development and poverty relief.  Problems of abuse and lack of opportunities for women are exacerbated by poverty. 

The report, as with the previous Taking Stock reports, presents findings and recommendations in a table including research and anecdotal information on the status of women in Afghanistan.  The table focuses on four core areas: Violence Against Women, Women's Civil and Political Rights, Women's Social and Economic Status and Support and Policy from the International Community.  Each focus area includes legal provisions, improvements, concerns and security challenges in achieving goals.  The report stresses the need for long term, continued commitment in the fight for women's equality.   

Compiled from Taking Stock Update: Afghan Women Five Years On, Lauryn Oates, Womankind Worldwide. (October 2006). (PDF, 18 pages).