Kabul to Host Rally to End Violence Against Women
 
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On February 14, women all over the world are asked to take to the streets to protest violence against women. In Kabul, activists will join in the global demonstration looking to build awareness and put pressure on authorities to treat violence against women more seriously.

"Our goal is to support the global demonstrations and tell officials to punish those who have committed violence against women," civil society activist and head of Afghan Women Network Hassina Safi said.

The campaign has been called "One Billion Rising" and is expected to draw out millions of people around the world. The movement began in 2013, and attracted some one billion participants in 27 countries.

"This movement is to support the international movement," Afghan MP Gulalai Safi said. "Afghan women, in support of women around the world, say that violence against women must decrease; we want justice and respect for women."

According to international figures, roughly one billion women globally fall victim to sexual and/or domestic violence at least once in their lifetime.

In Afghanistan, rates of violence against women rose in the past year, remaining some of the highest in the world.

Activists in Kabul have called for the ratification of the Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW) Law in Parliament. 110 non-governmental organizations have signed a petition supporting ratification.

"We ask government officials to implement the violence against women law," an activist at the demonstration named Sameera Hamidi said. "Our other demand is punishment of those who have committed violence against women, such as case of the Stara, where her nose and lips were brutally cut but her husband is still not arrested."

One Billion Rising has a number of major international organizations participating in it, including Amnesty International, International Rescue Committee Global Green, NOW, Planned Parenthood and Women Thrive Worldwide.

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