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.

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?

I was born in a poor family in Kabul city, when I was 16 years old in 5th grade, because of our poor economy and without my consent my father engaged me to someone that I did not like. I told my parents several time that I am not happy for this engagement but they did not listen to me, and when my fiancée saw that I am not interested in him, he threatens to kill me if I spoke of my disinterest to anyone, I have given 200000 AFG to your father and I will give another 100000 to him after marriage and so you belong to me and you are my property.   

I thought I was sold out and cannot get out of this situation, I was in a very bad situation. My family told me that if I did not accept this engagement they will cut all the relationship bonds with me and so I had no choice but to accept this engagement.  

I was in love with someone else and we really wanted each other and we promised that after graduation we will get married.

I was under the pressure of my family and fiancée, several time I decided to kill myself, I ate rats poison but I was taken to hospital and saved. One day a friend of mine told me that I can go to the ministry of women affairs and seek help from them and so when I got out of the house to go to school, instead I went to the ministry of women affairs and asked them to help me who introduce me to HAWCA women protection center.

 

Procedure

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

The case was followed in the family court. Her parent and fiancé did not agree for the termination of the engagement and so HAWCA used article 64 of the civil law and cancelled the engagement. After the cancellation of the engagement, she was married to the person she loved in the court and they went hole happily.

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.

Building the capacity of the human right defenders has always been one of the most important activities of HAWCA. In September 2017 HAWCA targeted the human right defenders in Balkh province and provided workshops for the defenders in Nahrshahi, Dehdadi. Shulgara, Charbolak and mazar city.

The workshops focused on developing the capacity of the human right defenders to fight and prevent violence against women and to advocate for women rights.

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.

 Click here to download the pdf format.

 Introduction of booklet (Exit from Violence “you are not alone”)

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.

 Introduction of booklet (Exit from Violence “you are not alone”)

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.

 

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