Awareness among women in northern Takhar province regarding measures to curb domestic violence and the right to justice has considerably improved, authorities said on Monday.
Director of Women’s Affairs Razam Ara Hawash told Pajhwok Afghan News incidents of domestic violence had declined as a result of growing awareness among females on different issues.She said: “In previous years, such incidents remained under wraps due to cultural taboos. Women would not summon the courage to report violence or seek justice, but now they are speaking out…”Her department has registered 200 cases of violence against women, including 11 murders, during the current year. Last year, it had documented deaths of 16 women in Takhar due to family disputes.“Increased reporting doesn’t mean a surge in violence; instead it’s reflective of increased awareness,” remarked the director, who acknowledged the situation remained grievous in rural areas.Civil society member Faridoon Yaldash noted most of awareness initiatives focused on cities, with women in far-flung villages continuing to suffer.“If awareness programmes are extended to rural areas, the situation will definitely improve there. The department concerned must take meaningful steps in this regard,” he stressed.But Nazia Adilyar, a women’s rights campaigner, believed the steps take so far to curb violence against females had been inadequate. Men should also be educated on protecting women’s rights, including the right to work, she suggested.