HRW Urges New Afghan Government To Fight Sexual Harassment (Photo : Khamaa Press)
HRW Urges New Afghan Government To Fight Sexual Harassment (Photo : Khamaa Press)

Kabul, 21 Dzulhijjah 1435/15 October 2014 (MINA) – The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the new government of Afghanistan to take urgent steps to combat sexual harassment of women in education, employment and public life.

The US-based rights body has expressed concerns regarding the sexual abuse of women and has said that there are no laws in Afghanistan that specifically prohibit sexual harassment or protect victims.

According to HRW, government institutions lack effective policies to prevent and punish sexual harassment, Khamaa Press reported as quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA), Wednesday.

This comes as President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai described levels of sexual harassment in schools as “shocking” and ordered the the education ministry to report every incident of sexual harassment in schools to enable action against the guilty.

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President Ghani also directed ministries to develop a plan to counter sexual harassment in educational institutions.

Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch, said “President Ghani’s recognition of sexual harassment in Afghanistan as ‘shocking’ is spot on.”

Barr further added “The Afghan government should promptly enact a law against sexual harassment and ensure that every government institution develops and implements an anti-sexual harassment police.”

Sexual harassment has been a significant women’s employment and participation in public life after they regained the right to have access to education and employment opportunities following the fall of the Taliban regime.

According to HRW, harassment of women and girls on the street was a daily experience for women and girls, and women who have sought help from the police in response to harassment and even threats have received no assistance. (T/P002/R03)

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Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)