Mazar-e-Sharif, 4 December 2017 – As the world prepares to mark human rights day on 10 December the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has joined forces with local authorities and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) to call on all Afghans to defend and support the rights of women to live free from the fear of violence both in their homes and in the wider community.
“Over the past six years there has been real and substantial progress for Afghanistan’s women, they are no longer excluded from public life, they have returned to schools and universities in their millions and are now playing a vital role in helping to rebuild their country.
“Despite this progress, violence against women remains endemic. Scores of women and girls have been murdered this year by members of their own families and countless others have been beaten or otherwise abused. Many of the victims continue to suffer in silence. This violence is unacceptable regardless of whether it is perpetrated by family or strangers, in the public sphere or behind closed doors, in times of peace or conflict.” said Marguerite Roy, Head of UNAMA’s regional office in Mazar-e-Sharif.
This year’s human rights day will focus on stopping violence against women while the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM, has just launched a worldwide advocacy campaign urging people to commit to ending violence against women.
“While the United Nations is playing a vital role in helping to empower Afghan women and build the capacity of Afghanistan’s institutions to support victims, we must recognise that we all have a part to play,” she added. “Within our own families, amongst our friends and in the wider community we must send a strong message that violence against women must end.”