sábado, 12 de diciembre de 2009

HRW report: situation for Afghan women 'could deteriorate' as war escalates

On Sunday,Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a 96-page report titled "We Have the Promises of the World: Women's Rights in Afghanistan," which documents the poor state of women's rights in Afghanistan. As The Guardian noted, the report concludes that the "plight of women in Afghanistan risks deteriorating further" as the U.S. and its allies prepare to ramp up their forces in the country. HRW's Rachel Reid argues, "While the world focuses on the Obama administration's new security strategy, it's critical to make sure that women's and girls' rights don't just get lip service while being pushed to the bottom of the list by the government and donors." While President Obama made two passing mentions of human rights in his address at West Point last week, he never mentioned the "specific problems facing Afghan women, from staggering rates of domestic violence, rape, forced marriage, and child marriage to a lack of access to education and modern reproductive medicine." The absence of Afghan women in the President's address did not go unnoticed. Center for American Progress Fellow Matthew Yglesias argued yesterday that no matter how ambitious the military strategy in Afghanistan is, "disappointment in US military policy's ability to advance the status of Afghan women is nearly inevitable." But he added that protecting the rights of women "simply isn't -- and isn't going to be -- the main priority of the American military. People in civil society looking to help Afghan women should probably be trying to look past the Pentagon and see what else they can do."HRW ended its report with a list of recommendations for the Afghan government and international donors that includes the creation of special complaint mechanisms for Afghan women to report sexual violence and to end detentions of women for "running away from home," which is not a crime under Afghan law.

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