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UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that there was a deeply disturbing “pervasive climate of impunity” in Afghanistan for the abusers of women and girls and he called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government to take action.
Despite a fall in civilian casualties in Afghanistan for the first time in several years, the United Nations said last month more than 300 women and girls were killed and more than 560 injured in 2012, a 20 percent increase from 2011.
Activists and some lawmakers have blamed the rise in violence against women on what they say is the Karzai administration’s waning interest in women’s rights, a claim Karzai denies.
“I remain deeply disturbed that despite some improvements in prosecuting cases of violence, there is still a pervasive climate of impunity in Afghanistan for abuses of women and girls,” Ban told a UN Security Council debate on Afghanistan. “They have an inviolable right to live free of fear or attacks. And women and girls are key to a better future for Afghanistan. Protecting them is central to peace, prosperity and stability for all people in the country,” he said.
Ban called for Kabul to strictly implement a 2009 law on the elimination of violence against women, which made child marriage, forced marriage, rape and other violent acts criminal offenses. Reuters