In Afghanistan, UN expert on violence against women meets with female prisoners

14 July 2005 –

The United Nations expert on violence against women, on a 10-day fact-finding mission to Afghanistan, has interviewed female prisoners in Kabul and Kandahar, the two largest cities in a country where women’s rights were seriously restricted under the Taliban regime ousted four years ago.

The Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences, Yakin Ertürk, has also met with the Kandahar Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeal and the Public Prosecutor, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today.

In Kandahar, Ms. Ertürk also attended a joint UNAMA-Ministry of Women’s Affairs capacity-building workshop covering all the provinces in the south and west of Afghanistan.

In a report to the UN Economic and Social Council's (ECOSOC) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) earlier this year, Secretary-General Kofi Annan noted that Afghan women had made “historic gains” since the fall of the Taliban regime, but their participation in public life was circumscribed by the continuing lack of security, and reformers had to take care not to stir up the traditional hostility to women's advancement.

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