The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was marked in Kabul on Wednesday where officials expressed their commitment to stamp out the problem in the country.
The event was attended by officials, the first lady Rula Ghani, civil society activists and other concerned parties.
Addressing delegates, Ahmad Zia Massoud, the special envoy to President Ashraf Ghani on reform and good governance, said violence against women was a serious problem in Afghanistan and that obstacles in securing women's rights must be removed. Massoud said the culture of fighting the issue needs to be encouraged as it would be an important step in decreasing violence against women in the country.
"All of us should remove obstacles to secure women's right. Groups that want to use violence as a tool for their personal interest are perverted groups," said Massoud, Ghani's envoy.
Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah were not present at the event, but their commitments were declared through statements read out to delegates.
Malalai Shinwari, a presidential adviser, read the president's message: "The recent incidents of a woman being stoned to death and the incident of a Ghor woman being lashed to death indicates that we must fight violence against women."
But delegates argued that instead of just issuing statements, government must take practical steps.
However, they also said there had been some improvement in the country during the tenure of the past government and the current government but that the problem was serious and often made headline news.
"War often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. These are women that have raised generations therefore they should be provided with a safe environment in which to live," said Rula Ghani.
"Currently there are cases of violence registered in Kabul and our provincial representatives have registered big violations in provinces but despite this there are lots of women who seek justice for those who are victims of this violence," said Dilbar Nazari Minister of Women's Affairs. Meanwhile a number of participants expressed their displeasure at statements having been read out at the event.
"What was the point of just reading out statements? We are here to talk. Because of this I do not understand what the program is for," said Nargis a civil society activist.
But others disagreed. "What is important today is our officials showed their commitment to the fight against violence against women, which is hopefully decreasing in the country," said Sara one of the program participants.
But in conclusion, delegates argued that the National Unity Government (NUG) needs to support women during this period in the name of peace and put an end to the problem.