Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan
Project: Providing legal aid to women survivors of violence
Location: Afghanistan: Jalalabad, Ningarhar Province
Partner: Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA)
- A UNIFEM study in 2006 found that sexual violence constituted 46.4% of all types of violence perpetrated by family members.
- The study also found that rape and abduction were the most often reported forms of violence perpetrated by members of the community against women (45.9%).
- Women who experience violence often cannot afford legal aid nor are they aware of their rights. In practice, the formal judicial system does not protect women from violence, leaving them with no access to justice.
What Womankind is doing
Womankind is collaborating with our partner HAWCA to increase understanding of violence against women and improve the legal support for survivors .
- At the individual level we are providing legal aid and counselling to survivors of violence.
- At the regional and national level, we are advocating to increase the commitment of public officials, traditional leaders and the community to:
- challenge violence against women,
- implement legislation and
- improve the environment in which women can exercise their rights.
With our partners we are:
- Providing free legal aid and counselling to 500 women experiencing violence.
- Training 18 law students as paralegals who will share their knowledge with 700 others and increase the base of future support for women survivors of violence.
- Increasing the knowledge of 40 community leaders on the importance of protecting women from violence.
- Setting up a coordination cooperation committee (CCC) with other women’s rights organisations, donor agencies and government organisations, in order to improve the implementation of legislation at national and local level.
What we have achieved so far
- 38 women and girls have benefited from the center’s legal aid services
- 16 women and girls benefited from the center’s psycho-social counselling
- A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Law and Political Sciences Faculty of Nangarhar University and six students were selected to be trained in the theory and practice of women’s rights and defending those rights
- The legal aid center is also active in advocacy campaigns at a provincial level