Summary Report on Violence against Women


AIHRC Annual Report Final Cover گزارش سالانه کمیسیون مستقل حقوق بشر افغانستان

Summary Report on Violence against Women

2018 &2019

Summary of the findings of the report on violence against women

Violence against women in Afghanistan occurs in various ways. The most common forms of violence against women include physical, sexual, economic, verbal and psychological violence, and other forms of violence described below:

Incidents of violence against women

This report shows that during 2019, 4,693 incidents of violence against women were registered. But in 2018 about 4,329 incidents of violence against women were recorded. This figure that cover only the incidents and information recorded in the AIHRC’s offices show that incidents of violence against women in 2019 are about 8.4% higher than 2018. High level of violence against women is due to various factors such as raising women's awareness of their human rights and responding to domestic violence, low levels of public awareness of women's rights, weak rule of law and the spread of insecurity across different parts of the country, and also increasing the level of trust in the Commission amongst people.

Types of violence against women

Of the 4,693 incident registered in 2019, 1,435 incident (30.60%) were physical violence, 194 incident (4.1%) were sexual violence, 1,783 incident (38.0%) were verbal and psychological violence, 844 incident (18.0%) were economic violence, and 437 incident (9.3%) were other incident of violence against women. However, in 2018, there were approximately 4,329 reported incident, 31.9% of which was physical violence, 5.0% sexual violence, 33.8% verbal and psychological violence, 15.7% was economic violence, and 13.5% was other violence that is registered in the the Commission's database. Comparison of the above shows that verbal and psychological violence increased by 4.2% and other incidents of violence such as forced marriages, giving to Bad and sales of women under the pretext of marriage decreased by 4.2%. Other types of violence have a slight upward and downward trend.

Physical violence

Of the 1,435 incidents (30.6%) of physical violence, 1,238 incidents (26.4% ) which is the highest incidents of physical violence, includ beatings, 112 of which were injured and the remainder were incidents such as amputation, forced labor and burning. This was registered in 2018 as approximately 1382 incidents (31.9%), of which 1,218 incidents (28.1%) were identified as physical violence, showing an increase of 2.5 in 2019, and suggesting a rapid response by women to family mistreatment.

Murder of women

One of the shocking forms of physical violence that leads to the killing of women is honor killings. The Commission has documented about 238 incidents of murder of women separately during this period, 96 of which constitute honor killings. This figure was about 261 in 2018. The incident of murders of women show a slight decrease.

 Most of these incidents occured in the Northern Zone (about 48%), South (28%), East (13%), West (8%) and in the center (3%). Of all these incidents, 39% of the perpetrators are arrested and 61% are fugitives.


Extrajudicial trial        

The AIHRC has also documented 13 extrajudicial trials throughout the country. This figure was documented in 10 incidents last year. It is noteworthy that the perpetrators of all incidents of extrajudicial trials are fugitive, and they are in the areas controlled by the anti-government armed groups . These incidents occurred in Faryab and Ghor provinces.

Sexual violence

In 2019, sexual violence, a taboo in the traditions of Afghan society, was recorded in the AIHRC’s database with 194 incidents (4.1%) of all incidents of violence against women.

The figure was 5.0 in  2018, indicating a 1% decline.

Of the total number of sexual violence happened in 2019, about 37 incidents were sexual assault, 46 incidents were sexual harassment, 20 incidents related to forced marital relations, 16 incidents were forced prostitution, 19 incidents were forced sodomy, and the other incidents were incidents like watching prnograpies, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, and etc.

Verbal violence

Linguistic and verbal violence is a type of violence that occurs both at homes and in the public in the form of street harassment.

In 2019, about 1,783 incidents of verbal violence were registered in the AIHRC's database, which accounts for 38% of all incidents of violence against women. This firue amounted to 1,541 incidents in 2018.

Of the total incidents of linguistec and verbal violence 1,050 incidents were humiliation, insult, harassment, 276 incidents were threath to divorce and ousting from home, 193 incidents were threath to murder, 31 incidents were insult for lacking child specially a male child, and the rest were cited as humiliation for disability and compulsory isolation.

Economical violence

Economic violence also happens in different ways. In 2019, about 844 incidents of economic violence were registered. This figure amounted to 678 incidents (15.7%) in 2018. Of the total number of economic violence incidents in 2019, 721 incidents were non-payment of alimony, 18 incidents were deprivation of employment, 19 incidents were prohibitions of inheritance, 49 incidents were denial of the right to possess personal property, 29 incidents were non-payment of Mahria, and other types of violence.



Other incidents of violence against women

The AIHRC's database has recorded 437 incidents that relatee to other forms of incidents, including 44 incidents relating to denial of the right to choose spouse, 72  incidents relating to forced marriage, 71 incidents relating to denial of the right to visit relatives, 46 incidents relating to polygamy, 37 incidents relating to deprivation of education, 49 incidents relating to lack of access to health services, 3 incident of giving to Bad and the rest were mentioned as buying and selling of women under the pretext of marriage, denial of relationship, prohibition of civil and political activities, compulsory use of narcotics, trafficking etc. This figure amounted to 586 incidents in 2018, a decrease of 4.2 % compared to 2019.


Consequences of violence against women

Violence against women has serious social, cultural and economic effectes on the lives of Afghan women. The AIHRC's report for 2019 showed that violence against women resulted in mental and spiritual problems (8.1%); unknown fate (36 %), suicide attempt (7.1%), leaving home (14.6%), demanding for separation (10.6%), injure (17.2%), organ disability, rape-related pregnancy (0.1%), and other problems such as prostitution, sexually transmitted diseases, organ disabilities and etc.

Palce of incidents

Mostly violence against women occurs in the family. (97.4%) of the total incidents in 2019 and (96.1%) of the total incident in 2018 have occurred in the home environment. This figure shows that the home environment in Afghanistan is the most unsafe place for women.The rest happened on the street or alley, at the workplace or in the hospital, school or university, in detention centers or in jail.

Causes of violence against women

Violence against women is caused by many factors. The most important causes of violence against women include the existence of harmful customs and traditions, lack of security and weakness in governance in districts and provinces, lack of decisive treatment of offenders, and continued culture of impunity, corruption and abuse of official authority, interference of influential persons in the handling of cases; restricted access to justice for women (courts, anti-violence attorney offices, women's detention centers and lawyers, illicit weapons with irresponsible individuals and armed groups, lack of support for victims of violence against women; illiteracy and the low level of public awareness, poverty and unemployment and increasing of addiction to drugs.

Commission actions on cases of violence against women

The AIHRC has been effective in dealing with cases of violence against women. In 2019, out of a total of 4,693 incidents of violence, 214 incidents were resolved through mediation or legal intervention, 133 incidents were referred to safe shelter through written letters. In 255 incidents the plaintiff withdrew the complaint, and 210 incidents were referred to the police, 425 incidents to the Prosecutor's Office and 527 incidents to the courts. 715 cases received the necessary legal advice and were introduced to law departments in the center and provinces of the country. 163 incidents were referred to health centers and in 255 incidents the complainant withdrawn from the complaint. And other activities include introducing victims to defense lawyers, to the Ministry of Women's Affairs and to Law Department of the Ministry of Justice.



Actions taken by justice and judicial bodies in cases of violence against women referred to them by the Commission


Of the 210 incidents that were referred to the police, 117 incidents were investigated and transferred to the attorney’s office. The perpetrators of 93 incidents are fugitive and they are being chased by police.


Of the 425 incidents that were referred to the Special Attorney’s  Office Fighting Violence against Women, 88 incidents were resolved through mediation. 128 incidents were sent to the court for trial. In 75 incidents due to non-presentation of documents and evidence by the plaintiffs the incidents were closed, and in 134 cases the parties have withdrawn from the litigation.


Of the 527 incidents that referred to the Afghan courts, 213 incidents reached final decisions, 62 incidents returned due to defects in the investigation, and 252 incidents are under proceeding.


Activity report on handling of cases of violence against women by primary and appeals courts in the country's center and provinces:


According to written information received from the Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in 2018, the Primary and Appeals Courts in the central and provinces of the country have resolved about 1,586 cases of violence, including 314 cases of rape and 1,272 cases of violence.


Download the full report here:


  1. Ensure lasting security and peace based on the values of human rights, and in particular the fundamental rights and freedoms of women;
  2. Raising the level of knowledge and public awareness about women's social and individual rights and privileges through the development of educational and cultural programs;
  3. Create opportunities for women to work in order to eliminate the economic dependence of women on male members of the family;
  4. Strengthening the rule of law and combating a culture of impunity that has contributed to the continuation of violence against women in the country;
  5. Ending extrajudicial trial, especially in the areas under the control of anti-government armed groups;
  6. Strengthen the Prosecutor's Office and Special Court for Combating Violence and increase the number of qualified and specialized personnel in the Prosecutor's Offices;
  7. Strengthening the presence of women in the ranks of the country's security forces and raising the level of professional knowledge of the police and security forces;
  8. Facilitating and extending legal assistance to women aiming to access justice and judicial organs in remote provinces to provide women victims of violence with legal protection;
  9. Providing facilities for the registration of marriage and divorce throughout the country and monitoring its proper implementation;
  10. Socialization and eradication of violence in the family and social life of people in the country;
  11. Establishment of addiction treatment centers, since addiction is one of the most important causes of violence against women in the country;
  12. Comprehensive legal definition of uncertain fate and creation of legal protection capacity for the women with unknown fate;