The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said Thursday that within three months eight women have filed complaints about sexual harassment in government institutions at the Special Secretariat of the AIHRC, established to examine allegations of sexual harassment.
The Secretariat for Investigation of Allegations of Sexual Harassment was set up three months ago following a decree by President Ghani.
The secretariat was tasked with probing allegations of sexual harassment in government institutions over three months. The time period has finished and the agency is due to publish its report soon.
Members of the secretariat say that none of the women who filed the complaints have so far provided any evidence to prove their claims.
“All eight cases are in government departments and in various sectors, from the service sector to the senior level,” said Shabnam Salihi, Commissioner at the AIHRC and member of the Secretariat.
The allegations of sexual harassment were brought to the media about four months ago after General Habibullah Ahmadzai, a former advisor to President Ghani, made allegations about misconduct within the Presidential Palace.
Some members of the House of Representatives say the allegations need to be seriously investigated.
“It requires a serious investigation so that if anyone is involved in these matters he will be punished, and if he is innocent his dignity should be restored,” said Shinkai Karokhail, a parliament member.
Meanwhile, presidential candidate Rahmatullah Nabil says some government officials do harass women but this issue should not be used against them politically.
“There must be a debate and the women who made claims—they did not claim without any proof,” said Nabil.
However, the secretariat is due to report to the president next week about allegations of sexual harassment.