HRW protests for Afghan women's rights

Feb. 14, 2011 at 3:25 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- An Afghan measure that would give the government control over women's shelters is an assault to civil liberties, Human Rights Watch said.

The Afghan government is considering a measure that would give it authority over women's shelters, which are typically run by non-governmental organizations.

Rachel Reid, an Afghan specialist at Human Rights Watch, said that although the government claims that taking control would help fund the shelters, the real intentions are clear.

"The government is increasingly dominated by hard-line conservatives who are hostile to the very idea of shelters, since they allow women some autonomy from abusive husbands and family members," she said in a statement.

The measure includes suggestions that would force women to undergo forensic examinations and places restrictions on their freedom of movement.

Many of the women in Afghanistan are living under a societal system governed by strict interpretations of Islam.

Even though 69 of the 249 members of the lower house of Parliament are women, Reid said much of the government in Afghanistan is "full of misogynist warlords."

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