Reading my daily press roundup of Afghan Parliament-related news, this jumped out at me:
“Afghanistan’s constitution recognizes equal rights for men and women, but Sobharang questioned the reliability of the country’s courts, which are composed entirely of men who have been accused of favouring husbands in divorce cases.” –Canadian Press
According to UNIFEM, there are around 60-70 female judges in Afghanistan (less than 10%of the total), mostly in local, family and juvenile courts, and they are represented by a UNIFEM-supported NGO, the Afghan Women Judges Association.
I think Canadian Press is at fault for the error here, not Soraya Sobhrang, whose statement above was likely taken out of context or fused with a Canadian Press journalist’s assumption or misinformation about the gender composition of Afghan courts. It doesn’t help Afghan women to deny their achievements –for example, denying the existence of women judges– even with so much more progress to be achieved.