SAR-I-PUL (Pajhwok): Some girls and women in central Sar-i-Pul province have complained about their harassment on streets and on roads and asked relevant authorities to take steps for their safety.
The appellant Attorney Office on Prevention of Violence against Women has asked girls and women to register harassment complaints with them but women believe collecting evidence to support streets harassment is a difficult task and the victims fear failing to prove such complaints in the attorney office.
Two individuals have been jailed for six months each over harassing girls and women in Sar-i-Pul this year.
Pajhwok Afghan News held conversed with a number of girls and women in Sar-i-Pul City, the provincial capital, to get their views on street harassment.
Breshana Hazeer, a young lady who works at one of government institutes, said: “When young women and girls go out of their homes, educated and uneducated individuals harass them on streets and roads.”
She said different people in society such as shopkeepers, drivers and others strived to touch their bodies with women or they tell women ‘How beautiful you are’ ‘Give me your phone number’ or similar messages.
“Such messages make women feel harassed and they hate being women.”
Anesa, another young woman and an employee of a government office, said she had heard extreme hate sentences from boys and men so far such as ‘You are so beautiful’ ‘What is your phone number’
She said while going to office she wore veil. One of the government employees harassed her, chased her to her office and demanded phone number and praised her beauty.
“When I removed my veil, he came to know hat he was harassing a relative,” she said.
Pajhwok hasheld talks with a number of girls and women regarding harassment and they said they could not register complaints due to lack of evidence and individuals involved in harassment used to deny their crime in the court of law.
LailaKamali, director cultural affairs at the Women Affairs Department, said harassment of women and girls on streets and roads was a huge problem and added women did not consider themselves in Sar-i-Pul out of their homes.
She said one day she faced harassment when two boys tried to harass her at a time when she was accompanied by her brothers and at the end, her brother engaged in a physical fight with the boys.
In line with article 668 of the Afghanistan penal code, a person who has been convicted of abusing a woman or child through the use of illegitimate speech, movement, writing, or desires that damages the personality or dignity of a woman or a child or causes fear or insecurity or stress or diminishes the social participation of women or children. , Shall be punished in accordance with the law.
Individuals involved in harassment of women in open areas, vehicles or any other places could be punished from 5,000 afghanis to 10,000 afghanis.
If women and children are abused at work and in educational, health or educational institutions, the perpetrator will be fined between 10,000 and 20,000 afghanis.
KolsumGahar, deputy head of the department that deals with the Prevention of Violence against Women at the Appellant Attorney, said two individuals had been punished over harassment of women this year.
One over successive telephone calls to a woman and one over demand of illegitimate relationship from a woman. She said a third case was also registered in which the complaint was withdrawn.