Commission records increase in cases of violence against women
Graphic: Women selling goods on street corner, Kabul
However, the report also notes that most cases of violence against women and girls went unreported.
More than 4,300 cases of violence against women were registered by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission over the past year, although many cases continue to go unreported.
Releasing its annual report on violence against women, the Commission noted that the number of recorded cases had increased by 11.7% from the previous year. Of particular concern was the increase in 'kangaroo courts' in different parts of the country.
Of the 4,340 registered cases, 1,420 cases (32.7%) involved physical violence, 228 cases (5.3%) involved sexual violence, 1,317 cases (30.3%) involved verbal and psychological violence, 749 cases (17.3%) involved economic violence, and 626 cases (14.4%) related to harmful customs and traditions.
The Commission recorded 277 murders during the year, up from 234 in the previous year. Of this number, 136 were so-called 'honour killings'.
However, according to the report, most cases of violence against women went unreported due to a lack of access to human rights and judicial institutions, as well as cultural taboos around reporting cases of violence.
One of the major problems we face is the culture of impunity.
Approximately 94% of the recorded violence took place within the home, with male members of the family accounting for the vast majority of violent acts. The Commission also noted that about four per cent of violent acts against women were committed by other women.
The impact of violence on women can be profound. According to the report, women suffer from psychological disorders, some attempt suicide or to burn themselves, while others may run away from home or drop out of school or university.
The Commission noted that violence against women continues to occur because of deep-rooted customs and practices, weak rule of the law in local districts and provinces, a culture of impunity and corruption, and limited access to justice for women.
The report includes a number of recommendations to counter violence against women, including to strengthen judicial institutions, increase the number of women in the police and security forces, creating income-generating opportunities for women and establishing mechanisms to promote women's access to justice in rural areas.
A summary report is available on the Commission's website.
Date: 11 March 2018
- Women selling goods on street corner, Kabul - Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission