Since the first 10 EVAW cases back in 2009/2010 when the law was initially passed, Medica Afghanistan has now expanded its caseload to over 1,080 prosecution, defence, civil and mediation cases in 2016 and 2017.
That statistic is all the more important in the midst of the evolving legal and political landscape, and, in particular, the recent consolidation of all penal laws into a single Penal Code. MA’s advocacy to preserve EVAW as a standalone has been a centerpiece of MA’s advocacy work in 2016 and 2017 and a landmark success for several reasons.
MA’s holistic approach to eliminating violence against women – seen through its multi-pronged approach in social integration, counselling, social work and mediation is a lens from which we can start to understand the reasons for MA’s insistent call to preserve EVAW as a standalone law. It was not merely for the sake of keeping EVAW separate from the Penal Code. Instead, it was a call to recognize that in order to eliminate violence, we have to address violence beyond punishment. We have to legislate for prevention, punishment and positive action, and create a culture of legal accountability within the State. No doubt, 9 years on, EVAW should be further amended to address new challenges and adopt the many lessons learned over the years. But this has to be done through a law that sees violence outside of just the punitive lens. A law that provides accessible measures to compensate victims, to protect and rehabilitate them, to relocate them if need be, to expel offenders or restrain them; to ensure that victims can return to their place of work or school without fear of reprisal – essentially, to put in place all the conditions reasonably necessary for a survivor to move on. This is MA’s vision of what EVAW should evolve into; a law that is both punitive and survivor-centered, focusing on very real needs and lived realities of the common person.
With all the attendant challenges and lessons learned during MA’s 2-year advocacy, we are honoured to have represented women in over 1080-odd cases reported here. It is through these cases that we are bringing EVAW Law to life.
To read the report click here: [Link ]