Afghanistan’s historic Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) Law was passed in August 2009 by a presidential decree, aligned with article 79 of the Afghan Constitution. It is considered as the second big legislative achievement for promotion and restoration of the women’s rights after the Constitution.
For the first time, the law recognized invisible and intangible forms of violence like psychological harm and for the first time, private and state actors alike could be prosecuted for committing violence against women, regardless of where it happened.
From a big picture perspective, the reach and impact of the EVAW law are impeded by the country’s on-going war, lack of central governance and corruption. However, from the viewpoint of the lawyers at the trenches, EVAW law has been our sole means of holding the government responsible for investigating, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of violence against women.
Medica Afghanistan has been involved in advocating for the draft and ratification of EVAW Law, since 2005. After enactment of the law, Medica Afghanistan advocated with prosecutors and judges on the implementation of the Law. We have also sought to increase support for EVAW Law among parliamentarians and civil society.
This report takes a critical look at Medica Afghanistan’s practice, with the intention to further Medica Afghanistan’s important cause and by no way reduces the unprecedented pioneering efforts of the lawyers who take on some of the toughest crimes in Afghanistan. The full report is available here (link).