Kabul, 26 November 2021 (TDI): The United Nations in Afghanistan released a statement regarding the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW). The EVAW is on 25 November, and it is on a global level.


The UN in Afghanistan called for concrete and effective actions to tackle the growing violence against women. According to the note, gender-based violence still poses a threat to women and girls.

That type of violence represents a major obstacle to achieving sustainable development and also peace. Shadow pandemic violence is another name for gender-based violence and it has been worsening by the COVID-19. The humanitarian crisis has also worsened this type of violence against women.


The UN stated that 1 in 3 women have experienced either physical or sexual violence or both. Most of those cases come from an intimate partner. Then the note mentioned that Afghanistan has one of the highest rates of violence against women and girls.

According to the UN 9 out of 10 have experienced at least one form of violence from their intimate partners in their lives. Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, called for a joint action to tackle the shadow pandemic.

UN in Afghanistan on EVAW day to deal with the violence against women and girls
UN in Afghanistan on EVAW day to deal with the violence against women and girls

She then added that violence should be prevented, by changing some of the attitudes that shame the survivors. Lyons then remarked that those attitudes also support violence, and stressed the need to support services for all the survivors.

The UN Office in Afghanistan also called the community to listen to the experiences of Afghan women to respond to their needs. The needs of the survivors of violence, and those who have suffered multiple types of discrimination should have priority.

The note then mentioned that violence against women and girls has increased currently due to restrictions on their rights. That restriction of their rights refers particularly to the right to work and the freedom of movement. With the increase of needs for services, the access of survivors to services has suffered an impact.


UN Women Country Representative in Afghanistan, Alison Davidian, released a statement regarding this matter. Davidian stated that the message they have been receiving is clear, that the already alarming levels of violence against women have been exacerbated. The reasons for this increase are the crisis and the COVID-19.

Davidian also warned that lifesaving services for survivors have closed, because of the fear of being targeted. The note then mentioned that the fact that women and girls live in fear holds back all the efforts for peace and development, much needed in Afghanistan.

Davidian then added that domestic violence affects everyone, from women to families and communities, to end with the economy. She mentioned that this violence does not affect solely Afghanistan but many other countries. Referring to health, Davidian remarked that this type of violence has a devastating impact on women’s health.

It is devastating because it limits women’s potential to prosper and have free and equal lives. Davidian then stressed the urgency to respond to the needs of women and girls to access vital services. Among those lifesaving services are health care, shelter, and also counseling.


The note then remarked that the UN in Afghanistan continues to respond to the needs of Afghan women and girls survivors of violence. They also advocate for the protection of their rights, and to eliminate all forms of violence. According to the note, to eliminate the violence, they support women’s organizations and providers, programs, and campaigns.

Every year there are 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which is an international campaign. Women’s rights organizations worldwide powered this day. The campaign started on 25 November, which is the International Day for the EVAW, and will end on 10 December, which is Human Rights Day.