Author Archives: Sari Kouvo

About Sari Kouvo

The Mud Might Stick: Women’s Shelters Again

On 17 June, the Minister of Justice, Habibullah Ghaleb, said that women’s shelters were safe havens for immorality and prostitution. He was later to apologize after stirring up fierce debate in Afghan media and elsewhere about women’s shelters and provoking defences of shelters by activists, the Women’s Affairs Minister and his own deputy. Nevertheless, says […]

A Slippery Slope: What Happened to Women’s Rights in March 2012?

March was an interesting month for women’s rights in Afghanistan: President Hamed Karzai endorsed a statement by the National Ulema Council according to which women are worth less than men; the Afghan government launched its first report under the Convention on the Elimination on all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) that, while focusing on […]

Women’s Day in Afghanistan: Where the ‘Personal is still Political’

International Women’s Day is a good opportunity to reflect on the legal advances made by Afghan women over the past decade and what challenges remain to turn laws on paper into reality. It is particularly needed after the President’s endorsement of the recent Ulama Council statement that, among a number of other points, addresses Afghan […]

What Next for the AIHRC (2): Civil Society Responses

When three of the nine members of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) were removed by President Hamed Karzai in December, it laid bare the fragile position of human rights activism in Afghanistan. In AAN’s second blog* on the removal of the AIHRC Commissioners, Sari Kouvo takes a look at how the President’s move […]

The Past is Here to Stay: Listening to Afghan Voices on Justice and Reconciliation

The abuses and violations suffered by Afghans during the conflicts are all but forgotten, and although pragmatic about what is possible in the current security environment, Afghans seem to view reconciliation and justice as intimately linked. AAN’s Sari Kouvo takes a look at recent publications by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) documenting Afghan […]

Mothers behind Bars: What about the Children?

Growing up with few evident opportunities and with conflict constantly lurking at the door is the reality for most Afghan children and youth. A group that gets more than its fair share of brick walls and violence are the children that grow up with their mothers in prison. AAN’s Sari Kouvo and Naheed Esar Malikzay […]

Women and Reconciliation (3): One Step Forward and a Running Match Backwards

This week three major reports about women’s participation in a possible peace process and their stake in the future of Afghanistan were released. The key messages of the reports are that women’s achievements are fragile, and that they are now eroding. AAN’s Sari Kouvo had a look at the Afghanistan Women’s Network’s, ActionAid’s and OXFAM’s […]

A Message for Peace in the Middle of War

While the killing of the Head of the High Peace Council on Tuesday certainly sent a strong message that peace will not be easily attained in Afghanistan, Afghan civil society organizations have used the week around World Peace Day celebrated on 21 September to campaign for peace, sending messages that peace has to be attained […]

Acting on Old News? NATO Suspends Detainee Transfers in Afghanistan

NATO has temporarily suspended detainee transfers to a number of detention centers in Afghanistan. This decision was taken pending the release of a so far unreleased UN report that is said to document mistreatment and torture in Afghan detention centers. AAN’s Sari Kouvo* ponders how this can be breaking news for NATO and ISAF troop […]

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