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The booklet Exit from Violence “you are not alone” was presented by HAWCA program manager on 19th of November and it was distributed to all the participants of the program. It contained information on forms of violence, how to realize that a woman is victim of violence, how to support a woman victim of violence and the contact numbers of the governmental and non-governmental organizations that provides free protection and legal aids.

Six month ago my mother died due to the cancer that she had. my father is addicted to drugs. I am the eldest daughter of the family so I have to take all responsibilities of my family. One day I went to Kabul with my family to take part in the wedding of my sister in law. At the end of the wedding my brother and my sisters’ husband went home without informing me so after three days I went to my home. After 15 days my brother and my sisters’ husband brought a child to our house. when I asked them who is the child, they said it is none of your business and be quite. They took my mobile and told me not to speak about the child with anyone. I was becoming worried about my brother because he is very young and he is unable to differentiate between good and bad.

One night they talked with their friends about this child and at that time I knew that they have kidnapped this child. Before I could report to the police about the kidnapping, our house was surrounded by the police and I was accused of Kidnapping and so they arrested me and put me in jail.

 

Procedure:

HAWCA defense lawyer went to person and take her case and defending her in the court.

The defense lawyer immediately opened an investigation and started gathering information about the case. After many investigations she was able to provide proofs that she was innocent and had nothing to do with the kidnapping. The police also arrested six of the kidnappers who confess that they had hand in this kidnapping.

After all the hearings the court passed a decree stating that the 6 kidnappers were to be punished with 20 years of imprisonment and our client was to be set free.

When she was freed from the prison, she took a deep breath and thanked God and HAWCA and its donors for supporting her.

Precious Lives has been implemented in Kabul and Herat provinces with the aim of bringing dignity back to the Afghan women. This project provided Legal Aid for women victims of violence in 4 centers (HAWCA LAC Kabul, LAC Herat, HAWCA WPC and OPAWC) have been established in Kabul and Herat, where women victims of violence received legal and psychosocial services.

 Since April 2014 HAWCA legal aid centers in Kabul and Herat provided free legal and psychological services to 660 women victims of violence, 588 legal advices, legal awareness to 600 people, legal trainings to 243 committee members, English and computer to 210 girls. The project also supported internship for girls and under this project a number of 32 newly graduated lawyers learn the practical ways of lawyering and how to defend a woman victim of violence.

 Through this project OPAWC center on the other hand provided literacy, computer, English and Vocational training to 645 women living in Afshar, Char rahi Qamber and Qaragha area.

HAWCA WPC activities that contribute to the project main goal also supported 541 women victims of violence and 231 children.

 In total the direct beneficiaries of this project were 3750 men, women and children. 

Beside the main activity of the project which was providing free legal and psychological services to women victims of violence, the project focused on establishment of women right defending committees which consisted of men and women. These committees are created so that the number of women right defenders at community level are increased and when the project is over, these committees could continue to defend from the rights of women.

Public awareness on women rights was another major activity of the project where people were given information on issues such as EVAW law, women inheritance rights, women marital rights, child rights, right to education, right to medical services, right to information etc.

The English and computer courses of HAWCA was to create a gateway for our women right defenders to meet and communicate with the international women right defenders. The committee members learned how to use internet and social websites to publish their comments and views on women and how the life can be made easier for them.

Making women self-sufficient was another major activity of the project and the responsibility was given to OPAWC. Women from Afshar and nearby area came there to learn literacy, English, Computer and vocational training. The main focus of the project was on the literacy and vocational training courses so that the women could learn how to read and write and how to cook food suitable to be sold in the market and how to make cloths which are sellable in the market. 

The Action Research has been implemented to get an in depth understanding of women and children victims of gendered based violence needs, problems, expectations, and help seeking processes and of the response capacity at both the institutional and civil society level in the context of targeted communities, that is the communities where the project has been implemented. 

 

On 19th of Nov 2017 the implementing partners of Precious Lives, organized a gathering in babor Garden to present the achievements, challenges and lesson learned of the project.

A round table was organized in this program where head of the family court, head of the women protection center of ministry of Women Affairs and 3 HAWCA lawyers participated in it. 3 beneficiaries of HAWCA women protection center presented their cases and demands to the government and the participants of the round table expressed their views and answered their questions. The main question raised by the victims were:

1-   Why should I wait for 3 years to complete to get divorce based on the absence of the husband?

2-   Why did the general attorney released my husband who has committed many crimes against, by taking a 200 AFG mobile as guarantee and now the police cannot find him.

3-   Why doesn’t the government provide the women who are homeless with secure residency and job opportunities?

The Pashtoon traditional culture states that if the husband dies, the wife has to marry his brother. This custom still prevails in many tribes and many women are still victim of this form of violence.

 

(Code name 001) (To protect the identity of the victim HAWCA uses code name instead of the original names)

15 years ago when I was only 13 years old and a child knowing nothing about the cruelty of life, they come to propose for my marriage, but I did not accept their proposal as I wanted to continue my education and be with my childhood friends, but my father in law who is a warlord threatens my family and by forced made them agree to this marriage. My husband family has many enemies who succeeded in killing my husband and his two brothers. But they did not stop at this and one day they through a hand grenade in my house which resulted in seriously injuring my son and my daughter. I cried for help but no one of my in-laws came to my help and so due to large amount of blood loss my son died in my arms. Even for the treatment of my daughter my in-laws did not gave me any money and I had to ask my parents to pay for the expenses. Now I am living with my parents but my in-laws say that you are our widow and you should marry with one of your husbands’ brother. As I have already suffered a lot in this family, I did not want to go there again but again they started threatening my family.

Now I have come to HAWCA to help me in this regard and save me from another force marriage.

Procedure:

Her case was registered to the HAWCA registration book and the necessary information was given to her by HAWCA defense lawyer.

As the client requested to follow the case through mediation before going to court as it will increase the risk of her losing her life and daughter, the defense lawyer started opening a mediation between the families. The mediation was to be organized in the independent human right commission. The defense lawyer called each one of her in-laws and requested them to come. Some of the in-laws did not cooperate at the beginning but after few calls they came. During the mediation it was made clear to them that their action is considered as force marriage which is a crime and also against sharia law. They were also told that their threats are considered as a criminal act. They were told that if they continue like this, legal action will be taken against them and they could be put in prison for a long time. After few hours of talking the parties came to an agreement that no marriage will take place and the custody of the girl was also given to her mother.

 

1-   Proper and full implementation of EVAW law in the courts and other legal entities.

2-   Change of legal marriage age from 16 years to 18 years.

3-   Prevention of child and force marriages and punishing the culprits.

4-   Removal of Claus 2 of article 39 of EVAW law and giving the responsibility to government to follow a criminal case.

5-   Reducing the time for divorce based on absence of husband from three years to one year.

6-   Punishing the culprits of violence even in the absence of demand from the victim.

7-   Punishing the culprits of stalking.

8-   Based on the regulation 1133 of the supreme court of Afghanistan, runaway is not a crime if it is done to escape violence but the person should refer to government, NGOs that provides social services or close relatives house, other wise it will assume that zina has taken place and the person will be punished. Our request from the government is that the regulation should be such that the woman escaping from violence could take shelter anywhere she feels safe and should not be considered a crime unless an ethnical crime has taken place.

9-   Including a clause for moral crimes and the punishment for it in the EVAW law.

10-                   The courts and judiciary must give priority to cases of violence against women.

11-                   Hiring professional lawyers and judges in the court and judiciary.

12-                   The government should guarantee its support to women victims of violence after they get their divorce.

13-                   The government should provide free psychosocial assistance to women victims of violence.

14-                   The government should provide educational facilities to women survivors of violence.

15-                   The government should provide job opportunities to women survivors of violence.

16-                   The government should include information from national and international laws on women rights in the school and university curriculum.

17-                   A national call for tender (with a strict verification of the characteristics of the proponents and evaluation of projects) to put money on awareness raising projects directed to men and women in the communities, taking as a central message "there is no excuse for violence against women" and "men should be accountable for their violent behaviors against women and girls", and "women are entitled as men are of human rights"... implemented through the direct participation of people

18-                   A specific awareness raising strategy to involve mullahs and religious authorities in the same subjects.

19-                   A serious and documented follow up of cases solved by mediation.

20-                   National system of founding for NGOs Antiviolence Centers to guarantee continuity of the service over time, putting rules on requirements/characteristics of the center.

21-                   A national call for tender (with a strict verification of the characteristics of the proponents and evaluation of projects) to put money on capacities building training for women connected with the labour market, to find a job after the training.

One of the achievements of HAWCA is that it can go to the most insecure areas of Afghanistan and build the capacity of the human right defenders. Due to the increased number of antigovernment forces, the women are forced to wear borqa, yet even behind the borqa they are a powerful source of preventing human right violation and in particular preventing women right violation. Their presence in such workshops states that even though a lot of danger poses them, they have the courage to come forth and take a step towards equality of men and women. They do this because they believe that they can bring change in the lives of hundreds of women suffering in their area.

It is about 15 years that I got married. Soon after marriage I learned that my husband loves someone else. He belonged to a farmers’ family but was in love with the daughter of a rich landlord who rejected his proposal for marriage. Every night he uses to talk about her and how she was sweet and beautiful. After two years of our marriage, he got mad and now I am all alone with my children. He cannot provide maintenance to me and my children and it is 13 years that I am living in a tent inside my father in-laws house. As if it was not enough, my father in law forces me to go for begging and earn money for him. I feel ashamed of doing this and I prefer working in other peoples’ houses, wash their cloths etc rather than begging. Many times I tried to commit suicide but whenever I looked in the eyes of my children, I could not do it. Now it is one month that my husband is missing and nobody cares about finding him. I want to get rid of this miserable situation. Either my father in-law allows me to go and live with my relatives or they could just divorce me

Procedure:

Her case was registered to the HAWCA registration book and the necessary information was given to her by HAWCA defense lawyer.

Her case was introduced to general attorney elimination of violence against women branch and her father in law was summoned by the general attorney EVAW branch. As he did not come, the police were sent to arrest him and bring him. At the end of the procedure her father in law promise that he will let her to and live with her relatives and he can take her children with her. All her belongings were also to be given to her.

 

Once again workshops were organized by HAWCA for the Human right defenders in Nangarhar, Laghman and Konar provinces covering the districts of Bahsood, Khewa, Surkhrod, Mehtarlam and Asad abad. The program was mainly focusing on advocating for Human rights with an emphasize on women and children rights using the Afghanistan EVAW law, Afghan penal code, Afghan Constitution, CRC etc. The program also covered the topics on monitoring the human right violation cases and reporting them to the concerned authorities.

 

As a whole the purpose of these trainings were to increase the capacity of the participants on how to protect the women and children rights, how to deal with early and force marriages, how to monitor the women and children rights, how to prevent an act of violence against women and children and how to advocate for the women and children rights.

 

Training in the Khewa distract of Jalal Abad

 

Training in the Bahsood district of Jalal Abad

 

 

 

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