Breach of Afghanistan's international obligations using the due diligence standard to combat violence against women

Sebghatullah Qazi Zada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Afghanistan was among the lowest ranking countries worldwide in the United Nations Development Programme 2018 Gender Inequality Index, ranking 168 out of 189. Amnesty International, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission have all reported a rise in gender-based violence against women by both State and non-State actors. Afghanistan is party to several international human rights instruments, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, under which the State is obligated to eradicate all types of discrimination, violence and other potential detrimental practices against women. Moreover, under the due diligence standard, States are urged to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and, in accordance with national legislation, punish acts of violence against women. This paper addresses the issue whether Afghanistan has met its international obligations to eliminate violence against women using the due diligence standard. It identifies the dismal shape of the current regulatory, institutional and policy frameworks concerning the elimination of violence against women in Afghanistan. This article concludes that Afghanistan has failed to protect women, potentially leading to a breach of its obligations under international law and proposes certain recommendation to improve the plight of Afghan women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1857-1886
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights
Issue number10
Early online date22 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Afghanistan
  • breach of international obligations
  • due diligence standard
  • International law
  • violence against women


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