TALUQAN - Violence against women must stop, said panellists in a televised debate backed by the United Nations to raise public awareness and understanding about the importance of upholding women’s human rights in Afghanistan’s remote northeast province of Takhar.
The debate drew a studio audience of human rights activists, governmental officials, university lecturers and students, many of whom asked the panellists questions during the lively debate.
The discussion focused primarily on progress made toward eliminating violence against women, in all forms, and the challenges associated with fully implementing Afghanistan’s legislation to address the issue.
One of the panellists, Razmara Hawash, who is the head of Takhar’s Department of Women’s Affairs, outlined the issues with domestic violence in the province and described how several cases have been prosecuted by provincial law enforcement organs. “All of us must jointly combat the phenomenon of violence against women,” she stressed.
According to Takhar’s Department of Women’s Affairs, from the beginning of the current solar year, there have been 200 cases of violence against women registered, nearly half the number of the comparable previous period.
Another panellist, Khairuddin Khairkhawh, who is the chancellor of Takhar University, spoke out against the harassment of female students in universities across the country. “Violence against women and girls is not acceptable and never will be,” he said. “University professors must respect their students and prevent them from being harassed.”
Mustafa Rasouli, a representative from the governor’s office, noted that cases of violence against women in the province have been declining, thanks in part to the work of the police, along with legal and judicial organs taking positive steps to address the issue.
The debate was broadcast by Raihan TV, reaching an audience estimated at 200,000 people in and around Takhar’s provincial capital of Taluqan. A similar debate was aired recently in the nearby province of Badakhshan. Both debates were organized by the Kunduz regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides 'good offices' among other key services. 'Good offices' are diplomatic steps UN takes publicly and in private, drawing on its independence, impartiality and integrity, to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading.
UNAMA also promotes coherent development support by the international community; assists the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.