Declaration of the Essential Rights of Afghan Women
Women of Afghanistan, Afghanistan
June 28, 2000
Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the international statements addressing the rights of women listed in Section II of this document, are systematically trampled in Afghanistan today.
Considering that all the rules imposed by the Taliban concerning women are in total opposition to the international conventions cited in Section II of this document.
Considering that torture and inhumane and degrading treatment imposed by the Taliban on women, as active members of society, have put Afghan society in danger.
Considering that the daily violence directed against the women of Afghanistan causes, for each one of them, a state of profound distress.
Considering that, under conditions devoid of their rights, women find themselves and their children in a situation of permanent danger.
Considering that discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, ethnicity and language is the source of insults, beatings, stoning and other forms of violence.
Considering that poverty and the lack of freedom of movement pushes women into prostitution, involuntary exile, forced marriages, and the selling and trafficking of their daughters.
Considering the severe and tragic conditions of more than twenty years of war in Afghanistan.
The Declaration which follows is derived from the following documents :
—United Nations Charter.
—Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
—International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
—Convention on the Rights of the Child.
—Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
—Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
—The Human Rights of Women.
—The Beijing Declaration.
—The Afghan Constitution of 1964.
—The Afghan Constitution of 1977.
The fundamental right of Afghan women, as for all human beings, is life with dignity, which includes the following rights :
1. The right to equality between men and women and the right to the elimination of all forms of discrimination and segregation, based on gender, race or religion.
2. The right to personal safety and to freedom from torture or inhumane or degrading treatment.
3. The right to physical and mental health for women and their children.
4. The right to equal protection under the law.
5. The right to institutional education in all the intellectual and physical disciplines.
6. The right to just and favorable conditions of work.
7. The right to move about freely and independently.
8. The right to freedom of thought, speech, assembly and political participation.
9. The right to wear or not to wear the veil or the chadri.
10. The right to participate in cultural activities including theatre, music and sports.
This Declaration developed by Afghan women is a statement, affirmation and emphasis of those essential rights that we Afghan women own for ourselves and for all other Afghan women. It is a document that the State of Afghanistan must respect and implement.
This document, at this moment in time, is a draft that, in the course of time, will be amended and completed by Afghan women.