Event to “End Violence Against Women” in Herat

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. 

In the continuity of the program held in Kabul, another program was held in Herat city by the implementing partners of Precious Lives to present the achievements, challenges and lesson learned of the project.

A round table was organized in this program where representatives of the Directorate of women affairs, general attorney, directorate of justice, directorate of pilgrimage and prayers, HAWCA defense lawyer, representatives of HAWCA CDCs discussed on the problems that women are facing. The main topics discussed were on the force and child marriages, right to marriage, prevention abuse cases, reduction of duration for divorce based on absence from 3 years to 1-year time.

In this program Mr. Hashim Ahmadi the program manager of HAWCA, presented the achievements of the precious lives project, findings of the research and explained about the exit booklet named Freedom from violence, you are not alone.

The program was appreciated by all the participants of the program. During the lunch time, there was big discussion on the topics discussed during the program and the participants exchanged their views in this regard.