Findings from the Killid Group research shows that 45,690 cases of violence against women have been recorded since end of the Taliban conservative regime, and the beginning of a new Afghanistan under the leadership of Hamid Karzai – the past 18 years.
However, statistical differences concerning violence against women within relevant organs could be seen, as none of these bodies have specific figures with a breakdown between the years until 2018.
Information the Ministry of Women’s Affairs provided to the Killid includes only a couple of past years’ outcomes on misconduct against women rights, which is contradicting to yearly statistics provided by the Human Rights Commission since its birth in Afghanistan – a paradox of at least one thousand cases of violence per year.
The cases on outraging approach towards women had sparked widespread attentions and concerns throughout the country, which the government could succeed bringing only a few violators, mainly in Herat, Daykundi and Faryab provinces, to justice. The rest either ran away or reported unknown identity.
Provincial department of Women’s Affairs in Herat in an interview with the Killid said, “Some perpetrators of these cases have escaped and only one similar case remained non-consolidated.”
The department of investigation concerning Women’s Rights in Faryab testifying the fact said to the Killid that cases do exist where the perpetrators are not identified; but the department of Women’s Affairs in Daykundi said two men have been dealt accordingly, who committed two different acute violence against women in one of most conservative society.
However, acute cases of violence against women have been cited as lack of perseverance in its investigations, as well as non-referral to the judicial authorities due to restrictions considered as internal family matters. While some other cases are covered upon some existing administrative corruptions, and of prevailing chronic yet conservative traditions amongst countryside residents.
Despite all these, violence against women shows a measureable increase in recent years; and only in 2018 the boosting numbers on the case have dropped comparing 2017 violation cases recorded at relevant offices.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan officials of Supreme Court said over the past four years, 7,246 cases of violence against women have been investigated throughout the country. The Attorney General’s Office, however, cited the number 7,371 cases within the same years – rape, physical harassment, murder and suicide are cases that hit top of the list respectively in a society where men and women are on their bid for equal rights.
Contradiction in Statistics Provided by Concerning Bodies
The findings since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 shows that Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has registered more than 45,000 cases of violence against women, but none of the responsible organs have reports on a precise statistic per yearly breakdown.
Bilal Sediqi, AIHRC spokesman, in an interview with the Killid said, “This commission (Human Rights) has registered more than 45,690 cases of violence against women until now; but we have yearly breakdown for only 2016, 2017 and 2018.”
Ministry of Women’s Affairs also could not avail yearly statistics of misconduct behaviors against women, who comply nearly half of Afghan population with roughly 49 percent. The statistic that Women’s Affairs provided show at least 1,000 cases contradicting to the figures Human Right’s office provided year-round of the recent years.
Meanwhile, Attorney General’s Office of the country, who has the statistics of provincial cases since 2010, demonstrated on challenges to keep yearly breakdowns, as he cited lack of facilities and adequate number of officials in provincial offices the main cause.
Therefore, the government in recent year has provided provincial offices for the Attorney General nationwide in order to better address and investigate cases that violate women right. Recording 2,701 cases since early 2018, all cases have been investigated thoroughly and a very limited number are under prosecution.
This year’s statistics on violence against women show 5,135 cases registered at MoWA, 4,329 cases at AIHRC, and 2,117 cases at Attorney General’s Office, which the Supreme Court has studied thoroughly.
Acute Cases of Violence Against Women
Out of many acute cases of violence against women, the Killid has picked some eight events for this report, of which only two cases have found the accused guilty of misconduct against women in Daykundi, central Afghanistan – the suspects are arrested.
The eight cases of violence against women are in sequence: five cases in Herat, west Afghanistan; one in Faryab province, northwest; and two other cases recorded in Daykundi, central province of the country.
In Herat Province (2013): A women known as Sitara (star) had been brutally beaten up by her addict-husband and had amputated her lips and nose; but the perpetrator has been yet not arrested since the incident in 2013, according to provincial Women’s Affairs office.
Meanwhile, a female corpse – whose nose and ears were mutilated – found at PD6 of Herat city in October last year, according to the Women’s Affairs officials the husband has been suspected guilty; yet not brought to justice.
In another case, a 12-year-old girl had been subjected to gang rape in same province last June; yet the perpetrators are not investigated and found guilty of the crime.
Sumaiya Taheri, provincial head to Women’s Affairs office in an interview with the Killid said that women were not able to provide answers for the questions asked during the preliminary investigations due to psychological impacts left to the victims after the incident – the suspects were thus not found guilty.
In 2013, a woman was killed with an axe by her husband in Herat Province, where the man succeeded fleeing the scene. According to the Women’s Affairs directorate, the murderer soon then joined armed opposition groups and has been drop out of sight for six years now.
In 2014, a 25-year-old woman was shot dead by her husband in mentioned province, but head of Women’s Affairs gives no clue of the incident, saying only a small number of perpetrators of violence were arrested; most of the suspects join militant armed groups opposing the Afghan government.
Zakia Razaye, Head of Women’s Affair in Daykundi, in an interview with the Killid said that all incidences demonstrating misconduct against women are registered after a thorough investigation. Amongst the cases are Chaman Gul of Shahrestan district, who was misbehaved and suffered nose amputation by mother-in-law. The suspect is found guilty and is languishing in local prison since then.
According to Razaye, another women had been killed at a New Year eve recently, after which the suspect was brought to justice – the husband was sentenced 17 years of imprisonment and until now is cutting a rough time behind the bars.
In another similar case in early 2016, Reza Gul had been mistreated to the point the husband amputated her nose. The suspect, however, disappeared afterwards and is being wanted for roughly three years now.
The Women’s Affair authorities cited insecurities and sheltering under Taliban’s group some main reasons for the government failure for bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Major Cases of Violence Against Women
Findings of the Killid shows at least four common cases of violence against women victims: The physical harm, where the victims suffers mutilations; sexual harassment, usually rape; economic pressures or provision of basic needs to the family through women vending; and psychological tensions that include threats and misbehavior. Sexual harassment have been hitting top of the list more recently, which contradicts previous high-ranked records of inflicting physical harms.
Bilal Sediqi, AIHRC spokesman said since recent years women have been involved in various NGOs advocating their rights, providing officials with possibility to have recorded as many as double number of cases that shows an increase in sexual harassment in women.
Meanwhile, Benafsha Ufaf, director of Women for Women organization, said to the Killid, “Cases recorded in this organization shows changes, because in the past violence would show more of sexual harassment, but now demonstrates more women heading towards prostitution.”
“Escape and running away from families hits the second from the top list; physical harms and battering comes in following,” said Ufaf as she recorded in Women for Women org.
Ufaf further added that since men are failing to provide basic needs of their families, women by an indirect force are being lead towards prostitution through which they could somewhat sustain their livings.
However, based on recorded cases of violence, this new phenomena [prostitution] is decreasing more recently, as the authorities are able to reach victims and help them get rid of the burdens they have been shouldering for years. Some cases from the other hand, remain unsolved.
Somaya Tahiry of Herat Women’s Affairs in an interview with the Killid said that physical harm indicates a huge concern that tents to hit the top of the list, which leads many victims towards suicide. She, however, added that violence against women in Herat show up to two percent decrease.
According to Tahiry, due to some administrative corruptions and possible favoritism, some of the cases remain silent. But relevant bodies in the city do cooperate for reaching out the victims, which in local areas and districts is otherwise.
Zakiya Razaye, head of Women’s Affairs department in Daykundi, said that violence have increased in recent years – last year shows a 40 percent hike, which, however dropped to 30 percent in current year.
Razaye cited narcotic addiction a major factor that contributed to the 40 percent increases of the previous statistic in the province.
According to Razaye, in 2017 at least 254 cases have been registered in the province; but in 2018 the number dropped to 190, indicating a 10 percent decrease.
Cases such as prevention of women schooling and honor killings, where the perpetrator believe the victim brought shame to the family, have remarkably decreased in recent years – current year shows no record on the cases. But physical harassment and family issues doubled in the year.
Jamshid Rasuli, spokesperson to the Attorney General’s Office, said there are various factors that contribute to the ongoing violence against women in the county: poverty, family conflicts, and male dominance and lack of women independency in the family are main reasons.
Rasuli said government has established relevant department in all 34 provinces of the country, where women compose 21.7 percent of the bodies as leading personage for provision of services to the affected citizens.
Rasuli, meanwhile, added that all cases of violence against women have been studied thoroughly, some are under investigation; but known remained unsolved and silent.
However it is mentionable that in spite a remarkable increase in concerning department’s facilities nationwide, some cases go dumb or the perpetrators run out of reach.
The Killid Group’s research team has contributed to the report.Follow TKG on Twitter & Facebook