20 YEARS: WORKING FOR YOUR RIGHTS – in 2013 the emphasis is on the future and identifying the challenges that lie ahead. 

December 20, 1993 the “Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women” is adopted by the U.N.  (see 3 min U.N. VIDEO) The Declaration sets out the measures that States and international agencies should take to ensure the elimination of all forms of violence against women, whether in the public or private sphere.

We here at photokunst deal with Human Rights issues on a daily basis, so selecting just one major challenge that lies ahead, is not easy. Unfortunately, we think that little has changed since 1993, as we look at the current situation of women and children in Afghanistan. We feel strongly that Afghanistan should be in the limelight for 2014. With the drawdown of troops and the dwindling aid and interest on the part of the West, we see the most serious challenges for women emerging once again:  education, freedom of choice, and the pursuit of happiness – all the things we take for granted. The backsliding has already begun, in fact. Over the past year, there have been repeated efforts in Parliament to reduce women’s rights.” NY Times.  Prohibition on child and forced marriages, unrestricted rights to education, medical care and women’s shelters, must be supported at all costs, in order to insure meaningful change and livable conditions for women and their children in post-war Afghanistan. 

Please lend your support to credible agencies still operating in Afghanistan:

The House of Flowers (a Montessori boarding school for orphans), establishing an environment of freedom, gender equality, peaceful conflict resolution, respect, and joy.

Consider a holiday gift that gives back:  Judy Duchesne-Peckham’s new book “Healing Afghanistan: Hope for the Children”  (100% of profits will benefit the House of Flowers). Available online: HealingAfghanistan.com

MEPO (Medical, Educational and Peace Organization). Donations to the House of Flowers can be made through MEPO.

Women for Afghan Women, their mission is dedicated to securing and protecting the rights of dis-enfranchised Afghan women and girls in Afghanistan and New York.

The Afghan Women’s Network  also recognizes the value and role of children as the future of Afghanistan and, as such, regards their empowerment and protection as essential. 

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