Amnesty groups demand support for Afghan women

Groups in South London host a comedy night to raise awareness of women's rights in Afghanistan

At stalls in town centres, at comedy nights and at concerts, you have been busy getting your communities to sign a petition demanding support for women in Afghanistan.
 
Few visitors or passers-by have escaped without a purple finger, a symbol were using in our campaign to represent the determination of women in Afghanistan to be agents of political change.

Meeting with MPs

Caroline Lucas MP and the Brighton Group show their purple fingers in support of women in Afghanistan

Not content with just collecting petition signatures, many of you have also met with or written to your MP, asking them to pledge support of women’s rights in Afghanistan. At your request, many of them have also written to Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi urging to ensure the FCO prioritises women and girls, especially violence against women, in FCO's work on the country.


The issue in brief

From domestic abuse to public attacks, women in Afghanistan continue to experience systemic violence and discrimination. The UK Government can make a real change to the lives of women by committing to support practical steps to tackle the abuse – steps like supporting women’s shelters or facilitating specially trained domestic abuse representatives in the police force.
 
With international troops leaving next year, peace negotiations with the Taliban and upcoming Presidential elections, it is a critical time for Afghanistan. We need our Government to act now to ensure gains made since the fall of the Taliban are not lost, and that women are protected from violence in all its forms.

What we’re calling for

The petition calls on Justine Greening (Secretary of State at the Department for International Development) and Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi to work together to ensure that tackling violence against women in Afghanistan is prioritised across government departments.
 
In signing the pledge card or writing to Baroness Warshi, your MPs are showing political support for this call. They are saying that they support the brave work of Afghan women human rights defenders and call for UK policies and aid to Afghanistan to put women first.

Why the purple finger?

To avoid double voting, women and men in Afghanistan show they have voted in elections by dipping their finger into purple ink. We are using the image of the purple finger print as a symbol to demonstrate women's active participation in political life, as agents of political change.