U.N. criticizes Afghanistan for slow implementation of law to protect women

Washington, Dec. 09: The United Nations mission in Afghanistan has criticized the local authorities for poor implementation of a landmark law to protect women against forced marriages, domestic violence and rape.

The U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, said that the Elimination of Violence against Women law enacted in August 2009 in Afghanistan has not been implemented properly yet due to reluctance shown on part of the police to enforce the legal prohibition and slow process of courts in including the legal protections in the law, the Washington Times reports.

The report found that incidents of violence against women remain largely underreported because of cultural restraints, social norms and religious beliefs.

The law criminalizes child marriage, selling and buying women to settle disputes, assault, and more than a dozen other acts of violence and abuse against women.

According to the report, Afghan women had won back many of the rights, which they lost during Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, when the Islamic movement was ousted by an American invasion following the 9/11 attacks.

Meanwhile, the Afghans fear that many of those freedoms might shrink as foreign forces depart by the end of 2014 and much of the international aid and assistance brought to Afghanistan will also be gone with them. (ANI)