Appeal to ensure equal rights for all Afghani women delivered to the Ambassador of Afghanistan in Brussels

30 Apr, 2009 | NPWJ in the News

On 30 April, 2009, Emma Bonino, Vice President of the Italian Senate, and Nathalie Gilson, Regional Deputy for Brussels and Counselor of the Commune of Ixelles, along with representatives of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and No Peace Without Justice, presented the Appeal to Ensure Equal Rights for All Afghani Women to the Ambassador of Afghanistan in Brussels, H.E. Dr. Zia Nezam.

The Appeal calls on the Government of Afghanistan to abolish the recently passed Shi’a Personal Status Law, which seriously violates the rights of Afghan women by authorizing violence and repressive treatment against them.

In just one month, the Appeal gathered more than one thousand signatures, including from Members of Parliamentarians from six different countries, Members of the European Parliament, current and former members of government and international institutions, and civil society leaders from over twenty countries. Hundreds of public supporters also signed the appeal online and joined our Facebook cause.

Ambassador Nezam assured the delegation that he will communicate the Appeal and the concerns raised by the delegation to the authorities in Kabul. He confirmed that the law has not yet entered into force and is still under review by Afghanistan ’s Ministry of Justice, as ordered by President Hamid Karzai. Ambassador Nezam expressed his own solidarity with the women of Afghanistan and thanked all of those who signed the appeal for their support of Afghan women in their fight for full gender equality.

Although he could give no concrete timetable for the result of the review of the law, Ambassador Nezam expressed optimism that the Afghan Government and President Karzai would ensure that the review would reject the kind of severe discrimination that underpinned the Shi’a Personal Status Law. There is hope that with continued outside pressure, the rejection of this law could ultimately be a step in the right direction for the women of Afghanistan. It is up to all of us to maintain that pressure but continuing to monitor the status of the law and by continuing to take action targeting the Afghan government. In the coming weeks, we will deliver the appeal to Afghan Embassies in several European capital cities and continue to pressure the Government of Afghanistan to abolish the law.

Press Contact: Nicola Giovannini, phone:  02 548 39 14  /  0486 78 31 93  – email: