Monday, January 7, 2013

Strengthening The System

“Long road ahead for Afghan women” “Afghan women still suffer abuse”

Our LAB partners including Mafuza Folad, Justice for All Organization
and Suraya Pakzad, Voice of Women Organization.
Each day we hear about turmoil and injustice for women in Afghanistan.  However, among these terrible stories are glimmers of real progress and change, and we’re in the thick of it.

Global Rights and our Afghan partners are at the forefront of strengthening the Afghan justice system so that women are protected from injustice— protected in one of the most difficult places to be a woman. 

Global Rights’ Legal Advice Bureaus provide legal assistance to the most poor and marginalized, primarily women, in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar and Balkh family courts.  Run by our Afghan partners, the LABs give women direct access to the formal justice system via legal information, assistance and representation. The bureaus enable women to approach the justice system with questions, concerns and bring cases defending their rights—a rare opportunity in Afghanistan. 

85% of our Legal Advice Bureau (LAB) clients are women.
3,152 Afghan women received legal advice from our LABs from 2010-2012.
494 Afghan women were represented by members of our LABs in court from 2011-2012.

We know increasing access to justice is a potent tool to overcome power imbalances in society and strengthen Afghanistan’s justice system.  We also know that by educating and training the next generation of lawyers, judges and justice officials on human rights and women’s rights, women will be better protected from violence.

Since 2010, Global Rights has been working with the Law and Shar’ia faculties at five different universities to provide a hands-on human rights-focused program for fourth year Law and Shar’ia students, both male and female.

2,172 students have graduated from our Young Lawyers in Training Program and Family Law Clinical Education Project. The project expands access to justice through intensive training in Afghan civil and criminal procedure, and in international human rights law for Law and Shar’ia students in their final year of study and it offers practical training in family law matters to Shar’ia students.

224 students have graduated from our Legal Fellowship Program, which places promising young Law and Shar’ia graduates in Afghanistan’s formal justice sector and in local human rights and justice non-governmental organizations where their knowledge and skills in human rights law is immediately put to work.

So, for every negative story I read about Afghanistan, I think about how many Afghans we’re educating, empowering and enabling to uphold human rights. By strengthening Afghanistan’s justice system, we are building a stronger future for Afghan women where their rights will be protected by rule of law. 


Posted by Susan M. Farnsworth

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