CARE Gender Analysis Afghanistan July 2020

Publication Date: 13/07/2020

Women in Afghanistan face considerable socio-economic, political and power barriers. Gender-based inequality is extensive in the country – decades of conflict, poverty and conservative patriarchal norms limit Afghan women and girls’ freedom of movement, decision-making power and access to health, education, and other basic services and resources. The situation is more dire for women and girls in IDP settlements and contexts. Even though the current Afghan government is publicly committed to women’s rights and empowerment, women continue to face significant gender-based discrimination, bias and violence.

In line with the CARE global strategy, CARE Afghanistan considers gender equality and women empowerment as a primary mission. Promoting a life free from violence and tackling and reducing gender-based violence (GBV) are key strategies for CARE and, with this analysis, CARE Afghanistan intends to explore gender roles and responsibilities and power dynamics within internally displaced person (IDP), returnee and host communities in Herat and Badghis provinces. This research engaged 61 people in key informant and in-depth interviews from Herat and Badghis provinces including community members, community leaders, and representatives from government offices and NGOs. The findings from this analysis intend to contribute to and inform humanitarian, civil society, NGO and government authorities in their programming, policy and overall interventions in the target communities.

This research provides clear evidence that women in the target communities experience considerable levels of domestic violence, perpetrated by close relatives and have extremely low levels of awareness of and capacity to access available GBV support and referral services. 100% of female and 75% of male respondents from Badghis, and 75% of female and 89% of male respondents from Herat agreed that women, boys and girls have experienced violence in their communities. Respondents indicated that the main perpetrators of violence across the two provinces are fathers (33% in Herat, 34% in Badghis) and brothers (33% in Herat and 23% in Badghis). In Herat, 16% of respondents reported that husbands were perpetrators whereas in Badghis, mothers were the third most common perpetrator identified at 14% followed by husbands at 8%. It is clear from the results of this research that women experience violence from many more sources than men. Key informants identified poverty, culture and customs, lack of education and illiteracy, migration, unemployment, political insecurity, narcotics and the lack of information about rights and the law among the main causes of violence.