The more than three decades of war in Afghanistan had as a legacy a culture of violence against women which is now embedded in the Afghan society. The high levels of illiteracy and increasing unemployment had contributed to make things worse.
Violence against women (VAW) is as one of the country’s pervasive social problems. An even great problem is the lack of concrete information to show the extent of VAW in the country. There is a lack of statistics in many provinces. Giving to the afghan women a professional opportunity means realize a concrete intervention on the gender issue and promote their social status.
Afghanistan was ranked 134th on the Gender Inequality Index in the UNDP’s 2010 Human Development Report. This means that the situation for Afghan women, despite international support, remains one of the worst in the world. The formal judicial system does not protect women in practice, leaving them with only a few choices of redress. Many women or girls either resort to leaving the house to live on the streets or, in extreme cases, to committing suicide. Women’s rights, domestic violence, harmful traditional practices, self-immolation, drinking acid, are all new issues in Afghanistan. At national level there has been some advancement to improve the situation of women with the establishment of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), the creation of a National Action Plan for the protection of Women (NAPPW), and the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) Law. However, in practice, there is a wide gap between the national laws and the implementation at a local level, where customary law or the informal judicial system functions as the prime modality for resolving cases.
Nearly 60% of all marriages are forced: “Forced marriage was strongly related with other forms of violence: 63.8% of women who were forced to marry reported experiencing physical violence, compared to 36.5% of the women who married freely; 80.2% forced to marry reported psychological violence compared to 65.7% in free marriages; and 21.6% in forced marriages reported sexual violence, compared to 10.6% in marriages freely entered into.”
Vento di Terra operates in the province of Herat, in the promotion of women’s rights. In the province of Herat last year 84 women set themselves on fire. Vento di Terra has joined the campaign “Dark Flowers”, oriented to intervene on behalf of victims of domestic violence. We also defined two project areas targeted: support to local producers of silk and the opening of a Family Center.
The video of the project “The Women of the Silk Road”, realized in Afghanistan last september thanks to Annamaria Bruni, won the 3rd place at the Nikon Photo Contest 2014-2015, category F, open theme. A great reward for all of us and for the cultural…
“The Women of the Silk Road” is the new line of afghan silk scarves, born from a project by Vento di Terra with the local NGO Raada (Rehabilitation Association for Afghanistan and Agriculture Development), involving more than 1,000 silk manufacturers in the…