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7/8/2015 - President Assures There Will Be Justice for Farkhunda in Afghanistan Following Outcry by Women's Rights Leaders
Leaders were outraged last week when the Appeals Court of Afghanistan reversed the death penalties issued in the murder case of Farkhunda, who was killed by an angry mob in March. The Kabul Primary Court sentenced four men to death and eight to 16 years in prison who were charged with the murder of Farkhunda in May....

6/4/2015 - President Ghani Confirms: Four Women Ambassadors to be Appointed in Afghanistan
Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, announced that at least four women will be appointed as foreign diplomats, as well as made other promises for appointments of female government officials at varying levels of Afghanistan's government. Last week, the Office of the President of Afghanistan tweeted that "at least four women ambassadors will be appointed to represent Afghanistan as top diplomats abroad." The Office also released a promise to appoint one woman as a member of the High Council of the Supreme Court of Afghanistan. Earlier this year, in another attempt to increase the participation of women in the political arena, four women were successfully selected as ministers in the cabinet....

5/11/2015 - Afghan Girls Win Gold at International Science Competition
Three schoolgirls from Afghanistan won gold in biology at an international science competition hosted in Kenya last week. 300 students competed from 27 countries in a science competition in Kenya, where three girls from a school in Afghanistan took home the gold in biology....

5/6/2015 - Four Sentenced to Death, Eight to Prison for Brutal Murder of Afghan Woman
The verdict for the 49 men charged with the murder of 27-year- old Farkhunda came yesterday, following a highly publicized and televised week-long trial and public outrage for violence against women in Afghanistan. Farkhunda, who was an Islamic law student, accused a local Mullah of acting inappropriately....

4/20/2015 - Four Women Were Just Approved to Join the Cabinet of Afghanistan's Unity Government
President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah of Afghanistan held their promise to appoint four women in the new cabinet, and the nation's lower house of Parliament approved them along with the rest of the 16 cabinet nominees introduced by the Afghan government on Saturday. Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, speaker for the lower house of parliament, confirmed on Saturday that there are four women among that the 25 member Cabinet of President Ashraf Ghani....

4/14/2015 - Afghan Woman Awarded International Women of Courage Award
Niloofar Rahmani, the first woman to serve in the Afghan military since the fall of the Taliban, was honored by the US State Department with the International Women of Courage Award last month. Rahmani was one of ten women recognized by the State Department for this prestigious award....

4/6/2015 - Brutally Murdered Afghan Woman Becomes Symbol for Women's Rights
Last month, 27-year-old Farkhunda was falsely accused of burning the Koran then brutally murdered after standing up for her beliefs in front of a shrine attendant in Kabul, Afghanistan....

3/27/2015 - Security and Women's Rights are Essential to Afghan Recovery
President Ashraf Ghani and a delegation of some 70 plus Afghan leaders came to the US this week to urge Congress and President Obama to extend the deadline for removing support troops from Afghanistan....

3/25/2015 - Afghan Woman Beaten to Death After Complaining to Mullah
Updated 4/6/2015 A 27-year-old woman ‎who was falsely accused of burning a copy of the Koran outside of a riverside mosque in a very poor part of Kabul, Afghanistan was brutally beaten and burned alive in March. Shocking videos quickly spread on social media showing crowds of men surrounded by hundreds of onlookers assaulting the 27-year-old Farkhunda with bricks and sticks and repeatedly kicking her....

3/4/2015 - Obama Administration Announces Global Initiative for Girls' Education
The Obama Administration announced yesterday expanded efforts to help adolescent girls worldwide attend and complete school through an initiative called Let Girls Learn. According to a White House press release, the new effort will build on investments the US already has made in global primary school education and expand them to help adolescent girls complete their education....

2/12/2015 - Worldwide Attacks Against Schoolgirls Are on the Rise
Attacks against girls who seek an education are increasing around the world, according to a United Nations report released Monday. The report, conducted by the Women's Human Rights and Gender section of the Human Rights Council, shows attacks on schools have happened in at least 70 countries between 2009 and 2014 and that many of the attacks were "directed at girls, parents and teachers advocating for gender equality in education....

2/4/2015 - Women in Afghanistan Protest Lack of Representation in Cabinet
Afghan women took to the streets in Kabul yesterday to protest the lack of female representation in the newly announce cabinet for President Ashraf Ghani. During their election campaign last year, President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah promised to increase the representation of women in the cabinet, saying at least four of the positions would be women....

1/13/2015 - Three Women Were Nominated for Cabinet Posts in Afghanistan's Unity Government
Finally, after a four months wait, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah announced 25 nominees for the Afghan cabinet yesterday, three of whom are women....

12/3/2014 - World Health Organization Calls For an End to Virginity Tests
A recently released handbook by the World Health Organization (WHO) states "virginity tests" - a "two-finger test" used to determine whether or not a woman has had sex or has been sexually assaulted - has no scientific basis and should never be used. In the handbook, WHO stated that virginity tests used on women and girls to "prove" virginity have "no scientific validity" and pointed out that the tests violate international human rights standards against degrading treatment and are a form of discrimination against women. "Prejudice and negative stereotypes against women and girls are passed off as medical science by many doctors who wrongly believe they can determine a woman's virginity," said Liesl Gerntholtz, who is the director of women's rights at HRW....

11/21/2014 - UN Expert Calls for Action To End Violence Against Women in Afghanistan
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo returned last week from a nine-day official visit in Afghanistan with a call to the Afghan Government and the international community to continue its focus on creating sustainable solutions to reduce violence against women. This was Manjoo's third visit to Afghanistan, and the Special Rapporteur noted many positive developments since her travel to the country in 1999, during the Taliban regime, and in 2005. In particular, Manjoo cited the creation of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW) by presidential decree in 2009 as "a key step towards the elimination of violence against women and girls."EVAW criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women - including rape, child and forced marriage, domestic violence, trafficking, and forced self-immolation - and specifies punishment for perpetrators....

11/18/2014 - Afghan Women's Rights Leader and Parlimentarian Survives Suicide Bombing Attack
Afghan law maker and prominent women's rights leader Shukria Barakzai survived a suicide bombing attack on her armed vehicle on Sunday, November 16....

11/11/2014 - Largest USAID Women's Empowerment Program in the World Launched in Afghanistan
The United States Agency for International Development launched its largest women's empowerment program in the world on Saturday....

10/27/2014 - Mullah Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Rape Under Afghanistan's EVAW Law
Judge Mohammad Suliman Rasuli sentenced Mullah Mohammad Amin - a religious leader from Afghanistan - to 20 years in prison Saturday for the rape of a 10-year-old girl in Kunduz province. Mullah Amin admitted to having sex with the girl, whose name has not been released, but claimed that the child had seduced him....

10/21/2014 - Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues
Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women. Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President....

10/20/2014 - Jay Leno Receives Mark Twain Prize, Salutes Mavis and Her Work for Women's Rights
Former long-time host of "The Tonight Show" Jay Leno saluted his wife, Mavis, for her work on behalf of women's rights around the world when he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this weekend at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The Mark Twain prize is awarded for comedic achievement, and the event, where Leno performed a monologue and paid tribute to the many comedians he has worked with throughout his career, brought together supporters of the The John F....

10/1/2014 - Afghanistan and US Finalize Bilateral Security Agreement
In a nationally televised ceremony at the Presidential Palace just one day after President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai took office, Afghanistan signed a major security agreement with the United States....

9/29/2014 - Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In
Ashraf Ghani, who has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Over 1000 national and international guests attended the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the United Nations and 34 countries and a delegation from the United States....

9/22/2014 - New President and National Unity Government Announced in Afghanistan
The Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced yesterday that the Afghan people have elected Dr....

9/9/2014 - Court Sentences Seven Men for Gang Rape in Afghanistan
An Afghan court convicted seven men for the gang rape and robbery of four women in Paghman district near the city of Kabul. According to reports, a group of men - some dressed in police uniforms and carrying assault rifles - stopped a group of cars traveling in Paghman last month, pulled the women from their cars, and raped them in a nearby field....

9/5/2014 - Afghan Girls Compete in Bike Race to Raise Awareness About Violence Against Women
Over a hundred people celebrated the August 25th "Orange Day to End Violence" with a bicycle race in Bamyan, Afghanistan hosted by the nonprofit organization Shuhada. Fifteen girls participated in the race to raise awareness about violence against women....