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‘UK to Stand Firm with Afghan Women in Struggle against Violence’

'UK to Stand Firm with Afghan Women in

LONDON (PAN): In her article, British Senior Minister of State Baroness Warsi on the eve of International Woman Human Rights Defenders Day said UK would stand firmly with Afghan women in their struggle against violence.

“We’re currently in the middle of an international campaign to end violence against women; a campaign that’s of vital importance to Afghanistan. It’s been reported that 87% of Afghan women experience violence in their lifetime. This is unacceptable. Gender violence ruins lives and is something that the Afghan government can and should do more to tackle,” she expressed these views in her article.

Eliminating gender violence in Afghanistan would not be an easy process, she said, adding that it was also a challenge that had to be overcome by Afghans for Afghans.  She said: “We will support the Afghan government where we can as it works to build a more prosperous and peaceful future, in which the rights of all are protected.”

But she wanted Afghanistan’s female human rights defenders to know that the UK stands firmly behind them in their fight for the real and irreversible progress that all Afghans deserve. The campaign is bringing together activists, international organisations, NGOs and governments, including the UK, in support of this crucial objective.

Earlier this week, Justine Greening, The UK’s Development Secretary, announced a £5m package to train those in the justice sector as well as community and religious leaders on the importance of tackling violence against women. She observed life for many Afghan women had changed markedly over the last 12 years, adding that the international intervention of 2001 ended years of brutal Taliban rule and a decade-long civil war that blighted a generation.

Women’s access to education and healthcare had increased dramatically since and they now play an increasingly important role in politics, business and cultural affairs, which was vital for the future prosperity of Afghanistan. “When women are economically active and when they play a part in social and political life, the whole nation benefits,” she added.

Yesterday was International Woman Human Rights Defenders Day. It’s a day to remember the multitude of female activists in Afghanistan, the region and around the world, who, often at great risk to themselves, speak out against injustice and fight for positive change. She noted it was time to celebrate the courage and determination of the Afghan women who work tirelessly for the rights of their fellow citizens, both male and female alike.

“This is an issue I care deeply about. In every visit to Afghanistan I have always ensured there is an opportunity for meaningful talks with human rights advocates, female parliamentarians and civil society activists,” she remarked.

The International Women Human Rights Defenders Day also represented an important opportunity for all of us in the international community to restate the commitment we’ve made to support Afghan women and female activists as they stand up for human rights,” she concluded. (PAN)

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