• Women's Rights on the Brink

Women's Rights on the Brink

29 June 2012

ActionAid is calling on donors meeting in Tokyo on 8 July to step up funding to reduce widespread violence against Afghan women, or risk losing the advances of the past decade.

In a new report, 'Afghan Women's Rights on the Brink', it says at least $90 million is needed over five years to tackle the problem - three times the amount currently on offer.

The report highlights some of the improvements made to women's lives since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, including new laws intended to protect their rights by criminalising acts of violence. 

But it says violence against women remains endemic. 

Around 87 per cent of Afghan women face at least one form of domestic violence, while women who enter public life do so at considerable risk.  In 2011, the Thomson Reuters Foundation named Afghanistan as the most dangerous country in the world to be female. 

And ActionAid says attacks on women are rising as tension grows in the run up to the withdrawal of international combat troops from Afghanistan by 2014.

As part of that transition process, the report says, the Afghan government will have to take on massive security expenditure so far borne by foreign military forces. 

ActionAid fears that "In the effort to distribute increasingly scarce funds across security and development needs, tackling violence against women stands a high chance of being overlooked."

Another challenge is the drive to provide more aid directly through the Afghan government - a government which ActionAid says has not yet made tackling violence against women and girls a top priority.

The report says the Tokyo Conference is a prime opportunity for donors to take action.  It sets out a number of recommendations, including committing $30 million to implement existing plans to combat violence against women.

Read the full report

Read more about ActionAid's work in Afghanistan