Afghan women have endured countless human rights violations for centuries, most recently at the hands of the Taliban regime which ruled the country until 2001, and still has an influence over certain regions of Afghanistan. Between 1996 and 2001, women were completely shut out of public life, unable to work, go outside without a male escort, or expose a single body part, including their eyes. They were literally prisoners within their homes. Today, Afghan women have increased rights, including a guarantee for gender equality in the new constitution, but they still face many obstacles. Especially in rural Afghanistan, women continue to be shielded from participating in civic life by family members. Many are denied the opportunity to attend school, and those who do make it to the classroom are at risk of being attacked by Islamic fundamentalists.
LCHR works to assist Afghan women at risk, creating programs to address their specific educational and economic needs. LCHR is creating micro-finance initiatives for Afghan women, as well as a network of professionals to mentor Afghan women who want to become entrepreneurs, lawyers, journalists, and human rights workers.
LCHR has partnered with Omar Hadi, Executive Director of the U.S.-Afghanistan Reconstruction Council (US-ARC) to compile a report entitled, Afghanistan: Struggling Toward Democracy, Facing Significant Obstacles. We are also working with Sima Wali, President and CEO of Refugee Women in Development.
To read LCHR’s White Paper on Afghanistan, click here.
To read US-ARC’s paper, click here.
To read the US State Department’s 2005 report on human rights in Afghanistan,click here.