Written By: Tabasum Nasiry
Representatives from the Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention and the Women’s Division of the United Nations have emphasized the detrimental impact of incarceration on the lives of women in Afghanistan, including those who are both incarcerated and struggling with substance addiction. They have underscored the need to address the negative consequences of imprisonment, both during and after confinement, for women in the country.
On Monday, the United Nations Women’s Agency released a joint statement with the Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention of the United Nations regarding the situation of incarcerated women in Afghanistan. This collaborative statement highlights their shared concern and commitment to addressing the conditions faced by women in Afghan prisons.
This report has been released following discussions between Alison Davidian, the United Nations Special Representative for Women and Anubha Sood, the Representative of the Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention, regarding incarcerated women in Kabul.
According to the report, most incarcerated women in Afghanistan express concerns about the future of their children and the impact on their families, leading them to seek opportunities to acquire new skills to support themselves and their families.
In a joint statement, Davidian noted, “Many of the women we met in Kabul’s women’s prison and detention facilities have never committed violent crimes.”
The UN Women’s Division and the Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention highlight feelings of insecurity within prisons and worsening mental and physical health conditions, social ostracization due to their status as prisoners, and the long-term effects on their children as some of the negative consequences affecting these women.
The statement aims to provide protection, essential healthcare services, and reintegration services for incarcerated women and those transitioning from drug treatment centres.
The UN Special Representative for Women further emphasized their goal to ensure that incarcerated women receive support both during their prison stay and after their release to facilitate their participation in society.