The Women for Afghan Women(WAW) organization is seeking international support “to lobby the Afghan government to reconsider its plan to put independent women’s shelters under State control.”
According to the WAW website, if this bill becomes law:
Women and girls seeking shelter will be required to plead their case before an eight-member Government panel, including conservative members of the Supreme Court and Ministry of Justice. This panel will determine whether a woman needs to be in a shelter or should be sent to jail or returned to her home (and her abuser).
Women will have to undergo “forensic” exams (virginity tests) to determine whether they have had sex and therefore committed adultery. The tests are medically invalid.
Once admitted to a shelter, women will be forbidden to leave. Their shelter will become their prison.
There is no discussion in the bill of women’s human rights, of the horrific abuse that most women in shelters have suffered and fled. The bill discusses shelter food but not how women’s rights will be protected and justice achieved.
And perhaps worst of all, if any family member comes to claim her, even her abuser, she will be handed over to that person, in most cases to be subjected to the harshest retribution for shaming the family.
WAW petition is here.
A UN report about this petition is here.