Afghanistan: Afghan Women's Network calls for sweeping constitutional changes to improve women's rights

The Afghan Women's Network
The Afghan Women's Network (AWN) has called for sweeping changes in the Afghan Constitution that would permit Afghan women free health care in all maternal health facilities and equal rights in all aspects of divorce and custody of children.
The demands are among a lengthy list of proposals that were submitted on March 3 by the AWN to a Constitutional Commission that has been set up by the Karzai government to engage the Afghan population in the redrafting of the Constitution. The Commission is due to submit its conclusions in October 2003.
The AWN is a coalition of over 25 Afghan Non Governmental Organizations and several hundred individuals, with offices in Peshawar (Pakistan) and Kabul (Afghanistan). The entire network has been engaged in the constitutional process. Two AWN working groups have spent the past five months surveying AWN members on both sides of the border, and also analyzed human rights law, Islamic law, and previous Afghan constitutions before coming up with recommendations. AWN teams also visited refugee camps in Pakistan and remote rural areas.