Supporting the Rights of Women: the 2014 Charter of the Reform and Partnership Team
Women form half of Afghanistan’s population. The Reform and Partnership Team is committed to improving the situation of this important segment of society. We believe that supporting and protecting the rights of women has been emphasized in the Islamic and human teachings. With this valuable backbone, in the last thirteen years, there could have been major steps in the way of progress and ensuring of women’s essential rights, which unfortunately did not happen.
Our society continues to suffer from social mores that are detrimental to women. For example, abusing women such as giving them in ‘bad’, forced marriages, familial violence and their torture, although they are directly opposed to Islam’s teachings, remain a serious social problem. We will use all our efforts to eliminate such practices.
Supporting and ensuring women’s rights, requires that we pass from the current phase of using them as a means and window dressing. We will take important steps in the direction of improving the conditions and ensuring appropriate opportunities for women in the areas of education, economic empowerment, and access to justice, evaluation and development of laws, and women’s place in society and in government.
Changing social relations requires the establishment of a better environment for increasing women’s role in the areas of economic-social progress, educational and academic improvement, and institutions of political decision making. In these areas we will take major steps.
Some of the areas we will pay utmost attention to:
1) With attention to Islamic teachings, ensuring fair conditions for women’s active participation in various areas of society and increasing their role in social progress.
2) Protecting women’s right to education by way of creating the environment for education with fair and equal opportunity for all rural and urban women including widows. This consists of literacy, secondary education and institutions of higher learning including sport education. Also following on the article of the constitution we will put priority on better healthcare for women and mothers.
3) Preventing the usage of objectionable mores against women in familial and social life. Such as were mentioned above, ‘bad’, child marriage, familial violence, etc.
4) Ensuring appropriate opportunities in the areas of justice, empowering and extending women’s rights and their standing. Fighting against the tribal and informal courts. Insisting on women’s access to the formal judicial process.
5) Insisting on the rule of law and due process for both men and women.
6) Working on documenting the sources of violence against women and attempting to pass the new law against violence in view of the constitution and national and religious values, and until such time, continuing to use the current presidential decree.
7) Respecting the international conventions regarding women to which Afghanistan is a signatory. For example, Afghanistan has ratified and accepted the United Nations Convention to Eliminate all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2003. We think we have to take essential steps towards its implementation. Ensuring that the reports required by the UN from Afghanistan regarding women are prepared and delivered on time so that Afghanistan benefits from their timely delivery.
8) Improving conditions of at-home women (housewives) using vocational, legal, hygiene and cultural trainings.
9) Establishing proper training and creation of jobs for women in the rural areas. Also, supporting training, cultural and artistic institutions in rural areas and faraway settings.
10) Capacity building and empowering of women in administration, project management and decision making pertaining to government management.
11) Reviewing and incorporating adjustments to the National Action Plan for Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA) and Afghanistan National Development Strategy) ANDS to make sure they reflect the current needs of women of Afghanistan all over the country.
12) Effective presence of women in all levels and facets of government. Assigning women to more top major positions such as ministers, ambassadors, governors, independent commissions, etc. (even a Supreme Court judge as long as she does not judge the hudud cases.)
13) Presence of women in all talks of peace to ensure that Afghanistan follows requirements of UN resolution 1325.
14) Working to create job opportunities with remuneration for women.
15) Restoring the 25% women’s participation for provincial councils, and restoring the allocation for the district (wuluswali) councils.