Stop Sexual Harassment in Afghanistan


Today, in Afghanistan there are no laws that prohibit sexual harassment. In a recent Human Rights Watch report, it has been urged, “Afghanistan’s new government should take urgent steps to combat sexual harassment of women in education, employment, and public life.”

Sexual harassment is a big problem in Afghanistan. Both women and girls have had to struggle and suffer “to regain their rights after being completely shut out of education and employment during Taliban rule until their ouster in 2001.” Sexual harassment is a daily obstacle for women and girls each day as they walk down the street. Furthermore, when these victims seek help and assistance from police officersthey typically receive no assistance. Harassment on the street is a daily experience for women and girls, and women who have sought help from the police in response to harassment and even threats have typically received no assistance. Also, women in the police force face higher levels of sexual harassment and even sexual assault. These women should be able to feel safe while at work rather than feeling fear. The government needs to provide these women police officers with safe working conditions. This is not right and the Afghan government needs to step in as soon as possible to help protect these victims. It is clear that the government has not made any effort to prohibit sexual harassment and assist the victims.

Additionally, Heather Barr, senior women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch stated: “The Afghan government should promptly enact a law against sexual harassment and ensure that every government institution develops and implements an anti-sexual harassment policy.” Do you agree with Heather Barr?

I completely agree one hundred percent. The Afghan government needs to protect people from sexual harassment. What do you think the Afghan government should do to help prevent sexual harassment? If the Afghan government does enact laws against sexual harassment what should it do to make sure these laws are followed?


Source: Human Rights Watch

Image: Ironmonger Curtis

Tags: Sexual Harassment, Afghanistan, Afghan government, Women, Human Rights Watch, Heather Barr, Women’s rights, Unsafe Work Conditions, Police Officers, Sexual Harassment in Education, Sexual Harassment in Employment

One comment

  1. I absolutely agree. It is the responsibility of the government to enact such laws and ensure that these laws are followed. Women are obviously asking for help, which has been denied by the government and law enforcement. Unfortunately this is not surprising considering the history of the treatment of women in Afghanistan. Taliban was always known for its degrading treatment of females. It is easy to say that the government of Afghanistan shall take control over the situation, but the fact is that there is still a power struggle between the official government and Taliban. This may be one of the reasons why enacting laws in furtherance of women’s rights is challenging. Another obstacle will be ensuring that the laws are followed. Changing cultural norms is extremely difficult, and therefore the only way in accomplishing this goal would be imposing fines and punishments for sexual harassment. None of these challenges should halt the efforts to stop sexual harassment.

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