A Tribute to Womanhood
Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.
Restrictions Proposed for Afghan Women's Shelters
The Ministry of Justice of the Afghan government is considering a draft resolution on Women's Protection Centers allow it to take over management of the shelters and require women who are fleeing domestic violence situations to appear before and eight person government panel before obtaining shelter. Under this new regulation, the shelters, which are currently funded by international organizations, Western governments, and individual donors, would be placed under the control of the government. In fact, this would most like result in the closure of some of the only 14 shelters active today.
Not only will this committee will determine whether women should be admitted to a shelter, jailed (yes, jailed) or returned to their families. If admitted to the shelter, women would then be required to submit to compulsory forensic examinations, which could include a virginity test. Such examinations could be traumatic for women especially since there are only limited female forensics. Moreover, women could be expelled from the shelter if their families requested that they return.
Women's rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, Women for Afghan Women and the Afghan Human Rights Commission, have expressed concern that the new laws would deter vulnerable women and girls from seeking necessary protections and shelter. Personally, I see know protection for women at all. It stymies me that they would even think of placing a woman in jail when she is a victim. I mean, does it ever end?