UN womens rights expert says new Afghan Constitution heralds era of progress

The Afghan Constitution, adopted on Sunday, explicitly guarantees that men and women have equal rights and duties before the law. “This is a significant victory for women and girls in Afghanistan who barely three years ago were completely excluded from all spheres of life and faced systematic violations of their human rights on a daily basis,” said Feride Acar, the Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.By promoting gender equality, the Constitution will serve as a “vital starting point” for the country’s transformation, she said, because it “legitimizes the important role played by women and girls in Afghanistan in reshaping their future and in rebuilding their country.”Afghanistan is a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Ms. Acar, whose committee monitors compliance with that treaty, pledged today to work for its “full and effective implementation” in Afghanistan.”As we celebrate the dawn of a new era for Afghanistan, I congratulate the Afghan people, and especially its women, for this incredible achievement,” she said.Until the Taliban regime was toppled, Afghan women faced a number of severe restrictions, including prohibitions on schooling and employment.

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