Rights groups concerned over Afghan Govt. move to take control of women shelters

Kabul, Feb.22 (ANI): Human Rights groups worry that Afghan government-run shelters will be disastrous for women and girls fleeing abuse.

"I don't trust many of the people in this government to decide who should be allowed into a shelter and who should be ejected from a shelter," Fox News quoted Rachel Reid of Human Rights Watch, as saying.

Reid added: "Often people in government have the same conservative attitudes that these girls and women are fleeing."

According to the United Nations and Human Rights Watch, most Afghan women and girls face severe domestic violence - and many are forced into marriage well below the legal age, some as young as 8 years old.

Therefore, there is concern over a government proposal to take control of shelters for abused and battered women.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed his government plans to take control of some of Afghanistan's women shelters.

"Those who are found in violation of the established standards and the rules and regulations will be taken over by the Afghan government," he said.

Under the plan, a group of Afghan officials will decide who is allowed to seek protection in a shelter.

"This regulation comes at a time when the president is trying to position himself as someone the Taliban can do business with," said Reid.

She added: "He is reaching out and calling them [the Taliban] his brothers. He isn't very interested in protecting his sisters, his wives, his daughters at the moment. But they desperately need his protection."

Karzai's support for the shelter takeovers is the latest in a long line of policy disagreements between the Afghan President and his American supporters. (ANI)

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