New Report – Strengthening displaced women´s housing, land and property rights in Afghanistan

Download the report from here AfghanReportLowRES

Afghan women´s HLP rights is an area of concern since the beginning of NRC´s Afghanistan progamme in 2002. Displacement has affected two-thirds of the Afghan population. This is within an overall context of arable land scarcity, widespread land grabbing, insecurity and depleting foreign aid.

Legal security of tenure is one of the key elements of the right to adequate housing. For many Afghan women,  security of tenure is only achieved through their relationship with men – their fathers, husbands, brothers or sons. At the end of their relationships with men through either death or divorce, women become vulnerable to losing the possessions and security against competing interests of dominant family members. Scarcity of arable land in Afghanistan renders it extremely valuable and, as such, the primary sign of economic and political power – the power which seems not entirely desired for what is locally considered an inferior gender.

Prescribed inheritance shares and mahr represent two main opportunities for women to gain ownership of land and housing and achieve security of tenure. Under Shari’ah, women have the right to an inheritance share – at best, half of what is allocated to a male heir – through acquisition of land or its monetary value. Mahr is a token of respect that every woman should receive from her husband as part of a marriage contract, in land, money and/or personal items.

Photo exhibition: Afghan Refugees and Returnees Through the Eyes of Women on the Ground / Photos by Farzana Wahidy, NRC Afghanistan  – more information  available here

NRC´s Afghanistan Programme

NRC provides legal assistance to displaced women as a key vulnerable group in Afghanistan. NRC also conducts capacity building, awareness raising and advocacy to ensure respect and effective implementation of standards, norms and procedures related to access to land, housing and property rights. More information about NRC´s Afghanistan programme is available here.