Improving access to justice for survivors of violence
The law on Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) was approved by the president of Afghanistan in August 2009. It seeks to eliminate “customs, traditions and practices that cause violence against women contrary to the religion of Islam”. For example, the EVAW law makes it a crime to buy and sell women for marriage and to offer girls as a means of dispute resolution. It also criminalises early and forced marriage.
It was a major achievement to have this law approved. But despite this milestone, Afghan law enforcement authorities – police, attorney general and judiciary – are, in many cases, unaware of the EVAW law, or unwilling or unable to apply it. This means harmful traditional practices continue to affect the lives of women and girls in Afghanistan.
What are we doing?
With funding from the European Commission our partner the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) works to monitor the implementation of the EVAW law and arranges training sessions for law enforcement agencies.
With our support, AWN is:
- Producing evidence-based research on law enforcement agencies’ response to violence against women
- Training law enforcement agencies on the EVAW law and its provisions
- Increasing awareness and lobbying decision makers and law enforcement agencies for effective implementation of the law
- Raising awareness of the EVAW law through its networks
What difference have we made?
This project is at an early stage but AWN has already recorded a number of achievements. For example it has:
- Conducted two workshops on the EVAW law with staff from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Family Response Units and defence lawyers
- Launched an 11-day radio campaign, raising awareness about the EVAW law and the importance of increasing female members of the police force
“I am a defence lawyer and deal with different cases of domestic violence. The training is good because it gave me a clear picture of how I can use the EVAW law to prepare defense statements for survivors of violence.
“I received one case where a husband was torturing and beating his wife. According to the EVAW law, there are certain articles which specifically address beating and torture. So, we referred the case to the prosecutors and after their investigation, the husband was put under guarantee that he would not beat his wife again.” - Farishna, participant
How you can help
£35 can provide training for a police officer to help women facing violence
£100 can provide 10 women human rights defenders with training in advocacy skills