Violence against women in all it's forms is a human rights violation. It is not something that any culture, religion or tradition propagates.
Michelle Bachelet

February 2016, Newsletter
Afghanistan is one of the worst places 
to be a woman.
“An Afghan women’s nose is cut off by her husband”, “Farkhunda a 27- year old student is stoned to death”, “ “Hit list” of female Human Rights activists tracked down by Taliban” news about abuse and neglect towards Afghan goes worldwide. 
Domestic violence is widespread in Afghanistan. Every year, their husbands, brothers, fathers, and armed groups abuse thousands of women, and girls, physically and emotionally. No wonder Afghanistan is considered as one of the worst places to be a woman, according to the EU. The number of women who experience violence in daily life is epidemic.
According to the statistics of 2015, up to 87% of Afghan women have experienced some form of violence, and 62% have experienced multiple forms of violence according to the UN. The numbers of the areas where armed groups are ruling, such as Kandahar, Helmand and Khost province that border Pakistan, over 97% of women are reported being abused.
Every year statistics grow in abuse towards women, and no one actually knows the exact number of women who are abused daily. Some people state that the amount of violence towards women might not be increasing. That the numbers that organizations report increases every year might be a result more women are reporting abuse and neglect towards them. No one kept track of the cases before. This just gives the real picture, and a true number of the abuse and neglect cases towards women, but the “real number” has not changed, state some researchers. 
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission report from April to September of 2015 stated that 199 women were killed, and only 51 perpetrators were arrested and prosecuted. During the same period, it was reported that 2,579 instances of violence were committed against women in Afghanistan, an increase of 7.32 percent over the same period in 2014.  It added that 28.34 percent of these episodes showed physical punishment, 7.1 percent registered sexual violence and 34.9 percent included verbal or psychological abuse. 
In 2009, the government of Afghanistan took steps towards the elimination of violence towards women.  A former president of Afghanistan passed a Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW), however it was rarely implemented. 
In Afghan culture polygamy is practiced, men are allowed to take many wives.  However if women are found in relations with another man, which sometimes can mean just talking on the phone, or just looking at another man, she is stoned to death, according to the Koran.
According to the Sharia Law, women can divorce a man in three cases; first if man is away from home for more than three-four years, if man doesn’t provide food for his family, and if man is abusive and neglects his wife, but she has to bring witnesses and provide evidence to the court. 
In most cases, women do not report abuse, because of their economic dependence on their husbands, and due to cultural oppression to keep a family united. In addition, practices showed that the divorce could be a very long, costly process. The other reason women do not file a case in the courts because they have to pay back to the husband a certain amount of money, which they usually do not have.
There are a lot Aid Organizations that work towards bringing awareness of women’s and girl’s rights. NGO’s and International Organizations taught women about their rights and helped them to raise their voice about the mental and physical abuse they face every day. Unfortunately, human rights are still only in theory.
Despite that, $1.5 billion spent to empower women and girls in Afghanistan nothing has really changed in the war-torn country. According to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), there is no way to tell if the U.S. funding for Afghan women even made an impact.
For example, women have a right to freedom, education and access to health care etc., however it will not help them to feed their children, give shelter and send children to school.  Creation of jobs would be the most helpful thing for women today. The statistics show that in most cases, women do not report their violent husband because they do not have income and do not have opportunity to earn income, especially now, when the unemployment rate is more than a 60%. Women, who are left as sole breadwinners, are more likely to give their daughters in marriage at early ages to cover debts or provide food and shelter for the rest of the children. Widows and divorced women become very vulnerable to different forms of violence from their community members. The combination of access to education and jobs will help women to gain confidence so that they would no be afraid to leave their abusive husbands or to report their abusive husbands just because he feeds them and their children. 

Sources: Aljazeera, UN Women, SIGAR
 
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Full name: Tikkun Olam International,  (T-O-I)
Legal Status: Non-Profit, 501(c)(3) in the United States.
Implementing Partner:Tikkun Olam Microfinance(T-O-M)
Location of the partner: Kabul, Afghanistan.
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Wedding Expenses in Afghanistan.
 
Despite being considered as one of the poorest countries in the world, Afghans still manage to organize expensive, big, and bright weeding celebrations. Since the weddings put a lot people in debt, Afghanistan tried to pass a law on limiting wedding expenses, however it failed. People said that it is not possible to make people stop practicing their traditions that they were practicing for many decades, and isn’t it the choice of every person.
Here is the list of expenses of two different men, who got married in 2012 and 2013.
The total expenses for Hashim’s wedding were $20,000. Hashim had invited to his wedding 720 people, he admits that most of the people from that crowd he has never met. He had to find a place to host 720 people. Hashim rented a hotel, and fed all these people: it cost him $6,805. He has spent $2,942 for jewelry, and he bought his fiancé a cell phone. According to tradition, the groom has to buy three types of dresses;  a nikah dress for the nikah religious ceremony $156, a white wedding dress $110, and a Gand Afghani dress $156. The groom has to pay also for the family of the wife, the amount depends solely on the groom’s choice, Hashim gave $2,945. In order to get to marry he and his brother took a loan of $4600. Since the wedding two and half years have passed, and his loan is still not paid off.
Our second groom is 31-year-old Muhammad. Compared to Hashem’s wedding he has less guests, 350, but he has spent more money. His total expenses for a wedding is $30,000. Muhammad purchased a big diamond ring for $4000, a golden neckless $8500 and paid $9600 to rent the restaurant, decorations, and live music. As Hashim, Muhamad also had to buy three dresses for bride. The wedding dress cost $400, the nikah dress cost $600, and the Gand Afghani dress which costs $600. All the money Muhamad spent for his wedding he had saved when he worked for a foreign company. Muhamad paid his faience’s family kalym $1700. His marriage lasted only one year. Muhamad’s wife left him and took their daughter and now she is in one of the refugee camps somewhere in Europe. 

 
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