This paper considers the relevance and applicability of CEDAW in Afghanistan and uses personal interviews with key Afghan and international actors to reflect on the context and framework for understanding the challenges and opportunities that exist for the implementation of CEDAW in contemporary Afghanistan. Starting with an introduction to CEDAW, it traces the Convention’s history in Afghanistan leading to its ratification without reservations in 2003 in order to argue that the application of CEDAW in Afghanistan is threatened by conservative forces who perceive it as an element of international efforts to ‘westernize’ Afghanistan and undermine its unique cultural and religious heritage, particularly vis-à-vis traditional gender roles and sensitive issues around women’s honour and chastity. The paper asserts that closer collaboration with Afghan activists and supporting grassroots efforts to promote women’s rights within a more culturally and religiously sensitive manner is key to succeeding in advancing women’s rights in general and encouraging compliance with CEDAW in particular.
CEDAW and Afghanistan.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 11(1), 136-156.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol11/iss1/10