The Female Journalists Defying Taboos And Braving Death Threats.
Members of parliament opposed to the landmark 2009 Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) law, notably the parliamentary Judicial Commission headed by Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, continued their efforts to amend the law to remove provisions regulating the minimum age of marriage, prescribing punishments for domestic assault; and providing for women’s shelters. As of November 2016, the draft amendments were being considered by the parliamentary Commission on Women, Civil Society and Human Rights. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission reported that in the first eight months of 2016, it documented 2,621 cases of domestic violence, about the same as 2015, although the number is likely much higher due to underreporting. On March 8, the Supreme Court granted significant sentence reductions to 13 men convicted of the murder of Farkhunda, a woman who was beaten to death by a mob of men in Kabul in March 2015 in a case that sparked widespread criticism of the police and judiciary. The court also reduced the sentences of nine other defendants who had been convicted of assault. Many of the men involved in the attack were never arrested. In December 2015, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission issued a report documenting the widespread use of so-called virginity examinations on female detainees. Afghan police and prosecutors routinely order such tests on women in their custody, and use the results to charge women with “morality crimes.” President Ashraf Ghani reportedly ordered a review of the practice, but as of November 2016, no results had been announced.
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