Keep women’s rights on the agenda in Afghanistan!
Women and girls in Afghanistan face widespread human rights abuses including abduction, rape and trafficking. More than 87 per cent of Afghan women suffer from domestic abuse, according to the UN, and between 60 and 80 per cent of marriages are forced. Women who push for better human rights face systematic violence and threats from the Taleban and other anti-government groups, as well as local warlords and militias. The government does little to support women human rights defenders and sometimes actively hinders their work, eroding the hard-won gains Afghan women have made since the fall of the Taliban (amnesty.org).
Soraya Rahim Sobhrang is Commissioner for Women’s Rights at the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). She is responsible for the monitoring, protection and promotion of women’s rights throughout the country. Before joining the AIHRC, she was Technical and Political Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.
Like many women human rights defenders in Afghanistan, Soraya Rahim Sobhrang is facing constant harassment, defamation and death threats. For her tremendous courage and tenacity, she has been selected by a panel of Irish parliamentarians as the winner of the sixth annual Front Line Award for human rights defenders.