In the name of Almighty Allah
A statement from the Civil Society and Human Rights Organization, CSHRO
(The Network) on the occasion of the 8th of March International Women’s Day (IWD)
Kabul 7th March 2012
The eighth of March is celebrated all over the world as an important day for all to express their respect for women. Particularly, the celebration of such a valuable day is the indication of the commitment of the international community towards the role of women – who are inevitably an indispensable part of the societies of the world.
The women of Afghanistan , as an essential element of our society, play a magnificent role in the peace-, security- and the development processes of the country. The Afghan civil society would like to celebrate the value based event of the IWD with meetings, the release of statements, as well as messages to the Afghan state and the international community.
During the past year, the women of Afghanistan have experienced a difficult time. The Afghan women suffered from the lack of social, economic, cultural and political security. Many specific cases from the regions indicate that Afghan women are the victims of inhuman practices, such as humiliating sexual abuse. Regretfully, the culture of disrespect and degradation of women’s role in the field of economic and social development is steadily increasing.
However, the Islamic state of Afghanistan has developed programs to support the role of women in the society. In addition to this, there are on-going projects and programs conducted by the international community to support and promote a culture of respect towards women’s role in the society. But these endeavours do not fully respond to the prevailing negative attitudes toward Afghan women.
According to national and international statistics, Afghan women are among the poorest and most vulnerable women in the world. They are suffering from severe lack of personal security. There is still a widespread fanatical approach in Afghanistan concerning what the role of women in the social, economic, cultural and political fields should be.
The Civil Society and Human Rights Organizations, CSHRO (The Network), would like to mention the following elements on the occasion of such important event as the IWD:
• Recently, the Religious Council (Shor-e-Ulama) of Afghanistan has released a statement addressing the role of women in the Afghan society. The statement is demanding limitations to the political, civil and social rights of Afghan women. The Civil Society and Human Rights Organization, CSHRO (The Network), considers such a statement to be against national and international law. The statement also contradicts Afghanistan ‘s commitment to the international legislation.
• Peace, reconciliation, and security are the main values for the Afghan population – but the Afghan women are not at all fully represented in the peace and security processes. The Civil Society and Human Rights Organization, CSHRO (The Network), would like to call upon the national and international community to give more room and opportunity to the role of women in peace- and security building in Afghanistan, based on United Nations Security Council Resolution no. 1325.
• According to a civil society report, the Afghan women often become victims of discrimination. Discriminatory practices are especially reported to be happening in the remote regions of Afghanistan . According to the constitution of Afghanistan and the international human rights conventions, men and women should enjoy equal opportunities in the society. We would like to ask the Afghan Government to ban any discriminatory acts and practices which are against Afghan women’s rights.
• We would like to call upon the Afghan state and international partners to support the Afghan women in reducing poverty. Poverty is one of the main challenges for the Afghan women in their social life.
• Domestic violence is also a very important challenge for the Afghan women. The Afghan civil society would like to ask the Afghan government to organize implementing- and monitoring mechanisms to aid the realization of national and international legislation concerning the role of women in Afghanistan.
• The Afghan Civil Society and Human Rights Organization, CSHRO (The Network), would like to call upon political parties as well as the private sector to support the role of women’s rights activists and other civil society actors who work in the field of gender balance and the promotion of women’s rights in Afghanistan.
• Promotion of the respect for the rights of women should be on top of the agenda for media activity in Afghanistan . We would like to call upon all types of media to organize educational and promotional programs concerning the role of women in the Afghan society.
The executive secretariat of CSHRO (The Network) would like to celebrate this year’s eighth of March for all women – and particularly Afghan women. We wish to express the sincere commitment of the secretariat to the promotion of women’s rights in Afghanistan.