Women continue to suffer under the general lawlessness. While the Afghan government is publicly committed to promoting the advancement of women, women still experience domestic violence, forced marriages, and roadblocks to education and economic opportunities. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs registered close to 2,000 incidents of sexual and gender-based violence in 2006. Fifty-seven percent of girls are married before the legal age of 16.
Attacks on girls’ schools and athletic facilities have also increased, and the chief of the Women’s Affairs Ministry branch in Qandahar was assassinated in September 2006.
The Afghan security forces have very few women in their ranks. Only 118 women, or less than 1 percent, were trained out of 71,147 police who received training by July 2007. In a society where many women are not allowed to speak to men outside of their family, especially in rural areas, this dearth of females in the police mean that women have few channels to voice their concerns or seek help.
For more information on the Center for American Progress’ comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan, see: