State Department Comment on Afghan Rape Survivor Gulnaz

Taken Question
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 23, 2011

Question: What is the State Department comment regarding reports that Afghan rape survivor Gulnaz is faced with the choice of incarceration or marriage to her rapist? What does this say about the rule of law in Afghanistan?

Answer: Gulnaz’s situation is one no woman should have to face. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Gulnaz and her young daughter.

The Law for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was a major advancement for the rights of women in Afghanistan; but without full training and implementation, situations such as this one will continue to occur. We expect Afghan prosecutors to properly apply the law while also upholding Gulnaz’s rights. The United States and its international partners will continue to work with the Afghan government to promote country-wide rights-based training for lawyers, prosecutors and judges, increase public awareness about women’s rights, and engage with men and boys to make them partners in social justice.

PRN: 2011/2001