The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Insecurity, forced marriages still threaten women’s rights

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Afghan women have been in deep trouble due to insecurity, education and forced marriages, a recent survey says. The survey conducted by the Provincial Women Network interviewed 300 women in 38 districts and 15 provinces across the country.
A member of the network Sahar told reporters in Kabul that lack of security, education and forced marriage were major concerns of Afghan women. She said women were interviewed face-to-face in the home-to-home survey across the country. She said unemployment, violence and misbehavior were other concerns among the gender.
She said another survey done by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in 2018 showed 261 women were murdered, half of them over honor. She said women availed limited access to justice and their participation in important national process was not as big as should be.
Indeed, Afghan society is a men-dominated society where men have the upper hand and almost all the decisions of families are made by men and women have very little right to have a say or meddle in the affairs of the family and oppose what has been decided by men. The parents are the decision makers of their sons and daughters, even if they are above the age of twenty. This is the parents who decide when is the time of their daughter or son to get married and who should be their life partner and there is no or very little involvement from the boys or girls themselves while getting married.
The Afghan Constitution states: “Any kind of discrimination and privilege among citizens of Afghanistan is forbidden. Citizens of Afghanistan, men and women, have equal rights and responsibilities before the law.” But unfortunately, forced and early marriages entrap girls and deprive them of their basic rights and law is being violated in most parts of the country.
Meanwhile, forced marriage has become a part of Afghan culture that is very hard to change in short span of time. Marriages are used to settle debts or to strengthen family status through social alliances. Many parents who are economically weak prefer their girls to marry a rich man and difference of age or choice of girls are hardly ignoring. Also, poor families consider a daughter as an economic burden and a big responsibility who must be married quickly to reduce the financial strain.
With the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, many parents aim to marry their daughters at young ages to secure their futures. This has further made lives miserable for young girls who want to make a career than getting married.
Besides early marriages, insecurity has also been the biggest challenge before women in the country. Women have time and again faced with sexual and verbal violence and even in remote areas of the country they were raped by the powerful individuals.
Since hundreds of TV channels and several FM radios are active in Afghanistan and dozens of newspapers are being published, they are required to take constructive steps and focus more on changing the bad practices in the Afghan society.
The Independent Human Rights Commission, Ministries of Women’s Affairs and Interior, Civil Societies and other organizations for women must do more to counter the problems. Democracy is quite a new process in Afghanistan. Bringing out solutions to the long-term issues of women will prove a good foundation for this process.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.