Govt lambasted for ignoring rural women in Takhar
TALOQAN (Pajhwok): The government has been lambasted for paying no attention to the protection of women’s rights in rural areas and villages of northern Takhar province.
A women’s rights defender in Taloqan, the provincial capital, Aziza Naseri, told reporters the celebration of Women’s International Day was a largely symbolic event.
Activities and functions arranged by the women’s affairs department were focused on and confined to only urban areas, she said, adding females in far-flung areas were faced with a host of issues.
She added the department had so far no programme for women in rural areas. “The celebration of women’s day is a discriminatory act. Those having connections with the director were invited to the ceremony.”
Secondly, Naseri said, all programmes relevant to women were implemented in the city, and no initiative had been taken for the women residing in rural areas.
According to her, women in rural areas and villages of Takhar were suffering illiteracy, domestic violence and the harmful traditions.
Another civil society activist, Farkhanda Shola, told Pajhwok Afghan News millions of dollars were spent on improving women’s situation, but they were still experiencing violence.
Shola said 90 percent of cases of violence against women took place in the countryside, but the government executed almost all of programmes in cities.
“Still women are being killed, married off in Ba’ad, deprived of rights, and suffering all kind of violence.” She asked the government to initiate awareness programmes for women in rural areas.
Meanwhile, Takhar Women’s Affairs Director Razam Ara Hawash confirmed most women-related incidents occurred in rural areas.
Hawash said the women’s affairs department had registered 369 cases of violence against women during the ongoing year in the province, including five murders and six sexual assaults.
“Many of the incidents have occurred in rural areas, mostly committed by irresponsible armed individuals, who couldn’t be arrested even by police. They are facing many issues which haven’t been paid any heed.”
The women’s affairs department, acknowledging women’s problems in rural areas, promised initiation of public awareness programmes next year with support from Germany.
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