HAWCA opened her third legal aid center and regional office in Jalalabad

After the successful opening of "Legal Aid Center for Women Victims of Violence" in Herat City and Kabul City, HAWCA opened her third legal aid center in Jalalabad City to reach the women victims of violence in the east of Afghanistan. This project has been funded by Womankind Worldwide, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and Cordaid with the help of an Afghan organization, Fayaz Foundation, based in Netherlands, active in advocacy for human rights. This center works for the victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and harmful practices and will work in close collaboration with DoWA, Law and Political Sciences Faculty - Nangarhar University and Family Court in Jalalabad.

In this center, lawyers with the help of under-graduate law students/practicing lawyers provide legal advice and assistance and the psychologist provides psycho-social support and counseling for women and girls who are victims of domestic and sexual violence and harmful practices. This project also provides legal trainings to the recently graduated law students and other women and girls. The center also established a /literacy human rights course for a number of 40 women and men in order to increase their awareness on their basic and constitutional rights. The center is also training 30 school teachers on psychosocial. To achieve its aim the project will use the following strategies: i- Offer the provision of free legal aid, counseling and the accompaniment of women to court who suffer from VAW, psycho-social support, provisional of health care to critical cases, as well as raising awareness and training women on their human rights;  ii- Promote the culture of free legal aid amongst defense lawyers; iii- Increase the commitment of policy makers to strengthen the formal justice system, by implementing legal provisions.

HAWCA opened the legal aid center in the center of Jalalabad in April 2011. Selay Ghaffar, Executive Director, and a team of HAWCA traveled to the province to meet with different organizations and institutes and establish mechanism of partnerships and collaboration amongst the stage holders, and to open our third legal aid center and HAWCA’s regional office in the east of Afghanistan.

HAWCA team met with Mr. Fazil Hadi, Head of Public Court, and Mr. Tahir Rohani, Head of Family Court, who appreciated our step in Nangarhar Province and showed their support. The team also met with Dr. Mohammad Saber, Nangarhar University’s Chancellor, and Mr. Aman, Director of Law and Political Sciences Faculty. A protocol was signed for introduction of students to the center to do their internship, and further coordination with university during trainings and other events. HAWCA also had meetings with Mrs. Anisa, Head of Department of Women Affairs (DoWA) of Nangarhar; Dr. Rafi Ullah Bedar head of AIHRC; Dr. Sharaf Sharifi, Regional Manager of ACBAR; Ms. Minako Kakuma from UNHCR; Mr. Sultan Agha from Global Rights; Mr. Fazil Mahboob Fazili from ILF; Mr. Daniele Rumolo, Associate Human Rights Officer of UNAMA; Dr. Takele Lakew and Dr. Hazrat-ur-Rahman from IMC; Ms. Sharifa Shahil from UN Women Referral Center, Mr. Hayat Ullah Talibzada from WAW; Mr. Gharmal from AWN, Ms. Angeza Shinwari, Member of Provincial Council; and some other national and international civil society organizations.

HAWCA had the inauguration on May 17, 2011. Quests from the government, national and international organization including UN agencies and Chancellor of Jalalabad University attend the ceremony.

Selay Ghaffar welcomed every one and gave a brief history of HAWCA and the work that has been done for elimination of violence against women (EVAW) through HAWCA programs in Afghanistan.  She explained about the objectives and donors of the project and added: “HAWCA is opening her third legal aid center and regional office in Jalalabad to assist women and girls violence in the east of the country. We will endeavor to reach out even in the remotest villages of the area and save the precious lives.”  With very entoseyasim she told about her experience visiting the most remote districts in Jalalabad she said. “I was deeply inspired by the people in the districts especially Dara-e-Noor while I was talking with them about the VAW and women empowerment. I was very warmly welcomed by the elders and women of the community. When I saw that a woman has to travel long a way by foot to reach to health point from a mountain of Dara-e-Noor district it gives me the strength and courage to work more for them.”  The other speakers were Dr. Mohammad Saber University Chancellor, Dr. Rafi Ullah Bedar AIHRC director, Ms. Angeza Shinwari member of provincial council, a judge from family court, UN women,  WAW and Qanoon Ghoshtankai representatives. At the end the ribbon was cut by University Chancellor and AIHRC Director and some other guests. They also visited the different offices of the project and enjoyed the refreshments.

Click here to view pictures of the event.