An international women’s right and economic organization has reported that the life of average Afghan women has not changed after the fall of Taliban, with many women and girls continuing to face systematic discrimination and violence in their household and communities. The report by Womankind Worldwide, which works with partner organizations around the world, to achieve lasting improvement in women’s economic, social and political position, says that serious challenges to women’s safety, realization of civil and political rights and status of women in Afghanistan, need to be addressed urgently, in spite of fact that Afghan women have gained some legal and civil rights in the recent past.
An investigation by Womankind Worldwide has found that there has been a substantial increase in the cases of self-immolation among Afghan women since 2003, mainly because of forced marriages, which account for 60 to 80% of all marriages in Afghanistan. Most of the girls in Afghanistan get married before the age of 16 and domestic violence against women remains widespread in this country.

Womankind Worldwide says that even though women hold more than 25% of seats in Afghan parliament, female politicians and activists continue to face intimidation and violent attacks. Brita Fernandes Schmidt of Womankind Worldwide, said that women activists, who stand up for defending women’s rights in Afghanistan, are not given enough protection by the government and many get killed and will continue to be the targets of perpetrators, unless the international community and the Afghan government take some drastic actions to protect women in this country.

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