The approval of ‘the law on prohibition and prevention of harassment against women and children’ was welcomed by human rights activists and parliament’s human rights and women’s affairs commission.
The law has three chapters and 29 articles which is aimed to end women and children harassment in the country.
The law was approved a year ago by parliament and was signed by President Ashraf Ghani this week.
Under the law, jail terms and cash fines will be imposed on perpetrators of harassment against women and children.
Human rights activists said they hope that government will implement the law.
“Almost all families are affected by harassment. We hope that a mechanism should be prepared,” said Fawzia Kofi, head of the Wolesi Jirga, Lower House of Parliament, human and women’s rights commission.
She proposed a meeting of MPs with all relevant ministries to start practical plans for implementing the law.
“Implementation of every law requires government’s serious efforts,” said Asifa Shadab, an MP.
In this law, verbal, physical, written and visual harassments in anywhere against women and children have been defined as a crime.
According to article 24 of the law, if anyone commits harassment against women and children in public places and vehicles, will be fined 5,000 to 10,000 AFs.
In another article, the law says that anyone who commits harassment against women and children in workplace, healthcare and educational centers will have to pay 10,000 to 20,000 AFs as fine.
“Harassments occur in different ways and people’s rights are violated. All these are because of peoples’ low level of awareness and misinterpretation of Islam’s teachings,” university lecturer Maryam Nasiri said.
Basira, a resident of Kabul, said when women and girls get out of their homes and go to work, university or other places, they face with different types of harassment.
“When a goes out of home, she faces different types of harassment such as verbal abuse and other ways of harassment that I cannot explain to you,” said Basira.
Human rights institutions said the law will remain on papers if government does not implement it thoroughly.