UN human rights chief calls for action to end violence against women in AfghanistanListen /
Violence against women is endemic in Afghanistan, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay who concluded her visit to the country on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters in the country's capital, Kabul, Ms. Pillay said Afghanistan is at a critical juncture with ongoing political, security and economic transition concluding in 2014.
She said this transition will have an impact on the human rights of the country's citizens.
Ms Pillay said the landmark law on the Elimination of Violence against Women which President Hamid Karzai passed by decree in 2009, was a very significant achievement.
"However, implementation has been slow, and extremely patchy, especially in rural areas, with police reluctant to enforce the legal prohibition against violence, and prosecutors and courts also slow to enforce the legal protections contained in the law. Violence against women remains endemic, and I have urged the relevant authorities to do their utmost to speed up and improve the implementation of this important law." (29")
Ms. Pillay said that during her visit to Afghanistan she also discussed the future of the country's Independent Human Rights Commission.
Dianne Penn, United Nations