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Women’s and girls’ rights in Jamaica and Afghanistan

The UN report shows that the Taliban restricts Afghan women’s access to work, travel and health care if they are unmarried or do not have a male guardian, the so-called mahram. The Taliban say women cannot move or travel a certain distance without a man who is their relative or husband. Since taking control of Afghanistan in 2021, the Taliban has banned girls from education after the sixth grade of primary school and banned women from most professional positions and public spaces such as parks. The Taliban also enforces dress codes by arresting women who do not follow their interpretation of the hijab. Women can only show their eyes and must wear a burqa from head to toe.

The Zan Times online magazine, founded in August 2022, advocates for the rights of Afghan girls and women. The Afghan journalists who create it work both in the country and abroad. “The work is hazardous. Women journalists write about topics that the Taliban do not want to hear about LGBTQ people in Afghanistan, human rights, domestic violence and child marriages,” says Zahra Nader, the founder of the magazine.

Jamaica has tightened domestic violence laws as the government wants to better protect victims in a country where they are reluctant to report such cases to the authorities. Protection orders cover harassment and property damage, and the financial penalty for violating them has increased almost a hundredfold to $6,450 and a maximum of one year in prison. Such orders can be requested by the spouse or parent of the person at risk, as well as by social workers and the child’s attorney.

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