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UN calls for increased efforts to stamp out violence against women



(Last Updated On: November 25, 2020)

The United Nations has called on all Afghans to increase efforts to prevent violence against women and that the violence has negative consequences not only for survivors, but also for their families, communities, and society.

Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW), the UN called on Afghans “to increase efforts to prevent and redress violence against women and girls, particularly in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19.”

This comes on the heels of the Afghan Women’s Affairs Ministry’s announcement that violence against women has increased in the country in the past year.

Speaking at the launch of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, officials said 2,582 cases of violence against women have been recorded in the past six months.

According to the ministry, the cases of violence against women included forced marriage, rape, and murder.

The 16-day campaign, launched on Wednesday will through to December 10 – International Human Rights Day.

The EU meanwhile stated in a tweet: “We, the EU and its member states stand against Gender-Based Violence.”

They called for every girl and woman to live free from violence, oppression and discrimination. “Join our voices to put an end to violence against girls and women,” the EU said.

Meanwhile, the United Nations stated that this year’s EVAW theme – “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!” – is focused on accelerating concrete policy responses to gender-based violence in the context of COVID-19 and promoting zero tolerance of gender-based violence across all spheres of society.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated key risk factors for violence against women and girls, such as food shortages, unemployment, economic insecurity, and school closures,” a statement read.

“Worldwide, there has been an alarming increase in multiple forms of violence against women and girls, and information indicates that Afghanistan is no exception.”

The statement pointed out that the consequences of violence against women and girls – including physical, sexual, and psychological impacts – could prevent them from fully participating in society.

“Violence against women and girls has negative consequences not only for survivors, but also for their families, communities, and society. It is an impediment to the eradication of poverty, sustainable development, and efforts towards peace,” said Deborah Lyons, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of UNAMA.

“In Afghanistan, violence against women and girls jeopardizes their enjoyment of fundamental human rights and freedoms at one of the most critical times in the modern history of the country”, stated Lyons.

“For millions around the world, the home became a safe space to protect us from a deadly virus. But for too many women and girls, the home became the place where they found themselves trapped with their abusers”, said Aleta Miller, UN Women Representative in Afghanistan.

“Our daily engagement with Afghan women across the country from the beginning of the pandemic flagged an alarming rise in the levels of violence against women and girls. Our data on the gender-differentiated impact of COVID-19 also matched this.”

“As it is an unprecedented time for Afghanistan, our solidarity with Afghan women and commitment to promoting and protecting their human rights must be equally unprecedented,” the UN noted.

The UN said that it is working with the Government, civil society, non-governmental organizations, and development partners in Afghanistan to respond to all forms of violence against women and girls through direct support to service providers, social norms programs to prevent violence, and campaigns and advocacy.

“During the 16 Days Campaign, the Afghan government, supported by the UN, is intensifying its advocacy and awareness-raising activities to address violence against women and girls,” the organization stated.

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3 female thieves accused of stealing jewelry arrested in Balkh



(Last Updated On: June 9, 2023)

Local security officials have arrested three women accused of stealing jewelry worth $45,000 from a house in northern Balkh province.

Deputy police chief Abdul Hai Abid said security forces arrested the female thieves along with two kids who had stolen gold from a house in the 10th security district of Mazar-i-Sharif on Thursday.

The group, in coordination with a man, stole some of a woman’s gold from a makeup salon located in Karte Ariana, 10th security district of the province and fled from the area.

According to Abid, the stolen jewelry, which includes a crown, necklace, belt and bracelet, has been returned to its owner.

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UNICEF concerned over report of aid group ban from Afghan education



(Last Updated On: June 9, 2023)

The U.N. children’s agency said on Thursday it was following up with Afghanistan’s Islamic Emirate officials over whether international organizations would be excluded from education projects, which could affect hundreds of thousands of students, Reuters reported.

“UNICEF is deeply concerned by reports that over 500,000 children, including over 300,000 girls, could lose out on quality learning through community-based education within a month if international non-governmental organizations working in the field of education are no longer allowed to operate,” said UNICEF’s Afghanistan spokesperson, Samantha Mort.

The agency was seeking clarification, she said.

Spokespeople for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Islamic Emirate that took power in 2021 has closed most secondary schools to girls, stopped female students attending universities and stopped many Afghan women working for aid groups and the United Nations.

However, international organizations, including the U.N., have been heavily involved in education projects, including community-based classes, often held in homes in rural areas.

Two humanitarian aid sources said that in recent days humanitarian agencies had heard that provincial authorities had been directed to stop the involvement of international organizations in education projects.

The Islamic Emirate had not confirmed any orders to aid agencies seeking clarity.

In New York, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: “If this would come to pass, this would be another horrendous step backwards for the people of Afghanistan.”

“We’ve not gotten anything official, anything in writing,” he said, adding that the U.N. message to the Taliban [IEA] administration was that “every person has a right to an education.”

The U.N. estimates that 8.7 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian aid for education this year and it was planning to reach about 3 million people under a humanitarian package for the year, which was revised this week to reflect lower funding.

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Haqqani in Jawzjan: We are building trust, inclusivity will come automatically



(Last Updated On: June 9, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is building public trust and inclusivity will come automatically, Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani said during his visit to northern Jawzjan province.

Addressing a gathering, Haqqani said that the “enemies” sought to divide Afghanistan under different names in the past, but now IEA will not allow this to happen.

“The enemies wanted Afghanistan to fall in a conflict, where the North, South, West and East would be divided into different islands, but Alhamdulillah, this is a Muslim nation and a patriotic nation. Alhamdulillah, all the evil circles fled the country. The then rulers had created a misunderstanding and we are removing this misunderstanding. Henceforth, the enemies’ plots will be neutralized and love and trust will increase,” Haqqani said.

Haqqani also emphasized that the Islamic Emirate is committed to the implementation of the general amnesty decree, and no one will be allowed to arbitrarily violate this decree.

“The most important thing is to build trust and bridge the gap. After building trust, inclusivity will come automatically, because the government is a trust, it is not someone’s property. Sometimes it is mine and sometimes it is one of the other brothers. The more proper the keeping, the more will be survival,” Haqqani said.

Meanwhile, Jawzjan Governor Gul Haider Shafaq said that people want an Islamic system in the country, not government posts.

On the other hand, a number of residents of Jawzjan province reiterated their support for the IEA and asked the government to address the people’s problems.

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