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Kenya: Averting an Avoidable Crisis
Kenya: Averting an Avoidable Crisis
Pakistani human rights activists hold candles as they shout slogans during a rally in Lahore on 7 March 2011 on the eve of International Women's Day. AFP/Arif Ali
Report 265 / Asia

巴基斯坦之女性、暴力与冲突

在巴基斯坦,女性的安全及其政治、社会和经济地位遭到了宗教极端分子的攻击,被歧视性法律所削弱,还不受政府的保护。政府必须遵守承诺,消除性别不平等的现象、终止针对女性的暴力行为;尤其是在此况甚为严重的地区,如西北部的冲突地带以及巴基斯坦与阿富汗接壤处的部落带。

执行摘要

巴基斯坦向民主国家过渡已经八年了,但在有罪不罚和政府不作为的环境下,对女性的暴力行为仍然普遍存在。歧视性的法律和不健全的刑法使妇女陷入极端危险。尤其是在开伯尔-普赫图赫瓦省冲突地区(KPK)和联邦直辖部落地区(FATA),由于暴力极端分子的公开压迫,女性安全备受威胁。在3月8日国际妇女节,巴基斯坦总理纳瓦兹·谢里夫(Nawaz Sharif)郑重宣布,其政府将采取一切必要的立法和行政措施来保护和赋予女性权利。如果谢里夫的承诺言出肺腑,那他的巴基斯坦穆斯林联盟(PML-N)政府便应该结束制度性的性别暴力和歧视,包括废除不公正的法律、打击极端主义尤其在KPK和FATA地区的威胁、并接纳女性在如何设计——包括反暴力极端组织策略在内的与其安危息息相关的——国家政策上尤为相关的参与和建议。

过去的国家政策为了安抚暴力极端主义分子,使女性成为了主要受害者。而在巴基斯坦回归民主之后,巴基斯坦在改善女性待遇上,特别通过对立法渐进改良,取得了一些进展。 女权运动的中坚力量不仅得以参与到联邦和省级立法机构中,并撰写了大部分的女权法案;他们在议会中的代表数量也有增加。然而,只要社会仍持有偏见,即便是在完善的法律也不足以保障女性安全。若警察不会因未能调查性别歧视犯罪而被问责,若司法部门上上下下均置女性暴力幸存者的正义于不顾,那歧视性法律便仍是记录在册的。

巴基斯坦的法律残存了不少上世纪七八十年代齐亚•哈克(Zia-ul-Haq)将军伊斯兰化的痕迹。而这些法律则延续其对女性在宪法中性别平等权的否认,并助长了对女性的宗教迫害和暴力。只要法律和行政上的壁垒——尤其是于1979年通过的《伊刑法条例》、联邦直辖部落地区于1901年通过的《边境犯罪条例》(FCR)、和2009年在省级直辖部落地区签署的《Nizam-e-Adl协议》——依然存在,那女性对司法公正和安全的企望便仍将是痴人说梦。

政府肩负着打击性别不平等和为女性赋权消除障碍的宪法义务和国际承诺,其中包括联合国公约下的《消除对妇女一切形式歧视公约》(CEDAW)。废除歧视性立法并执行保护妇女的法律,其中包括确保她们能受到秉持两性平等的警察和法庭的保护,这对于结束性别施暴有罪不罚的现象而言至关重要。

在开伯尔·普赫图赫瓦省冲突地区和联邦直辖部落地区,虽侵犯人权却逍遥法外的情况尤为惊人,该地区的政府默许了这些针对妇女的歧视、武装暴力、宗教极端主义和性暴力。激进分子可以肆意袭击女权活动家、政治领袖和发展工作者而不受惩治。在巴基斯坦的许多地方,特别是普赫图赫瓦省(Pakhtunkhw)和联邦直辖部落地区,非正式司法机制盛行并尤为歧视女性;同时,政府胡乱采取军事行动,其造成了数百万人流离失所,而这也进一步加剧了女性在冲突地带所面临的困难。

在开伯尔—普赫图赫瓦省冲突地区和联邦直辖部落地区乃至全国范围内,提高女性在决策上的地位——或作为选民参与政治、或担任国家公职人员——都会成为可持续性改革的核心。巴基斯坦应该在女性赋权上多下功夫,努力通过国家各政策反应女权的重要性,其中也包括了反暴力和维和政策。这些都是为了让女性蒙受叛乱和政府反暴政策之苦的案例在巴基斯坦不再比比皆是。

加强国家以及省级立法对女性的保护,仅是朝着正确的方向迈出的一小步。更必要的则是为女性提供保障,令其免受暴力和不公正待遇,且最终巩固巴基斯坦向民主制度过渡的进程。

伊斯兰堡/布鲁塞尔,2015年4月8日

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, his wife and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga arrive at the Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, on 22 January 2016. ​REUTERS/Noor Khamis
Statement / Africa

Kenya: Averting an Avoidable Crisis

Kenya’s ongoing electoral standoff could be compounded further if opposition leader Raila Odinga proceeds with a "swearing-in" ceremony that might elicit a tough response from President Kenyatta. To avert the risk of further protests, destruction and bloodshed, all actors should redouble efforts to broker a last-minute deal.

Kenya’s political crisis could come to a head on Tuesday 30 January 2018. Opposition leader Raila Odinga is expected to stage a swearing-in ceremony as the “people’s president” after two contentious elections in 2017. President Uhuru Kenyatta – who was declared victor of those elections – is reportedly readying a tough response, including the arrest of opposition leaders. This could provoke protests, further police crackdowns and much avoidable destruction and bloodshed, while deepening already dangerous levels of polarisation. Time is running short, but both sides should urgently show restraint: Odinga should call off the ceremony; President Kenyatta should agree to an audit of Kenya’s electoral authorities. Kenyan leaders also should consider some form of national convention to discuss reforms to lower the stakes of political competition.

Last year’s presidential election, held on 8 August, pitted incumbent President Kenyatta against veteran opposition leader Odinga. The electoral commission announced a Kenyatta win, with 54.27 per cent of the vote. Odinga challenged the validity of the vote at the Supreme Court. In a historic decision, the judges annulled the election. Their ruling did not show evidence of mass fraud or question the outcome of the election, but found widespread irregularities and illegalities in the tallying, tabulation and transmission of results. The court ordered a new vote “in strict conformity with the constitution and applicable election laws”. This decision was welcomed by many as a healthy – and, in Africa, unprecedented – sign of judicial independence.  

In its aftermath, however, both Kenyatta and Odinga responded with measures that deepened the crisis and widened societal division. Kenyatta, who would have gained from supporting a rerun that could have given him a clearer mandate, instead lashed out at the judges. His allies in parliament passed legislation curtailing the role of courts in future elections, while state security forces killed dozens of protesting opposition supporters. In turn, Odinga insisted, without offering compelling evidence, that he had won the 8 August election. He issued a raft of conditions – most of which were reasonable but many unrealistic in the period before the repeat ballot – for his participation. Some two weeks before the repeat election, he withdrew, citing inadequate electoral reform. Without the main opposition leader, the 26 October vote became in effect a one-man show: Kenyatta garnered 98 per cent of the vote, but with a turnout of only 39 per cent, down from 77 per cent in the first round.

The oath-taking might in principle satisfy core supporters but in practice would achieve little in terms of advancing their interests.

Since then, the standoff has only worsened. Kenyatta has rejected all efforts by religious leaders, civil society, the business community and diplomats to persuade him to engage his rival. Odinga continues to demand fresh elections and, given Kenyatta’s rejection of talks, repeatedly threatened to organise his own swearing-in ceremony and declare himself the “people’s president”. Having postponed several such ceremonies over past months, he has now set the date for 30 January. Kenyatta’s naming, on 26 January, of his full cabinet – appointing only ruling party supporters, in essence closing the door to any form of power-sharing – has foreclosed one option for defusing tensions. This has arguably further spurred the opposition to proceed with the 30 January ceremony, which it plans to hold in Uhuru Park in downtown Nairobi. Authorities say that venue is off limits, setting the stage for possible clashes between security forces and Odinga supporters arriving in the capital from opposition strongholds or informal settlements around the capital.

Pulling back from the brink

Odinga and Kenyatta are playing a high-stakes game of brinkmanship. Given deep social polarisation and a history of violent clashes between protesters and police, the two leaders’ actions could result in significant bloodshed. They need to pull back. Donors, civil society and business leaders should press both sides to accept some form of compromise to avert a dangerous escalation on 30 January. Western diplomats in particular, who continue to enjoy access to and influence with both men, should redouble efforts to broker a last-minute deal.

Such a deal would involve, first, Odinga calling off tomorrow’s ceremony. The oath-taking might in principle satisfy core supporters but in practice would achieve little in terms of advancing their interests. In return, Kenyatta should initiate talks with the opposition and accept an audit of the electoral system. Thus far, the ruling party portrays such an audit as unwarranted and Odinga’s demand for reform as a sign he cannot accept defeat. But a credible voting system is critical for Kenya’s democracy. While election officials operated in a tough environment, under relentless attack from politicians, the fact is that they failed to gain the trust of much of the electorate, which viewed them as both ineffective and partisan. An independent, time-bound audit would study the electoral commission’s work and develop recommendations for improving future elections.

Donors, civil society and business leaders should press both sides to accept some form of compromise to avert a dangerous escalation on 30 January.

If efforts to strike such a deal are unsuccessful, and the parallel oath-taking goes ahead, President Kenyatta should order the police to exercise restraint and avoid lethal force against protesters. He should also refrain from a crackdown on the opposition, which would only stir protests and further damage an economy struggling to recover from the crisis around last year’s elections. Kenya is routinely named as one of Africa’ most attractive destinations for foreign investment. But repeated clashes on the streets, particularly if they risk further instability, will do little to attract such investment and the badly needed jobs it creates. Politicians from all sides should refrain from inciting violence.

Lowering the political temperature

While the current crisis was triggered by the disputed 8 August vote, its roots run deeper. Since independence, successive Kenyan leaders have entrenched a system of ethnic divide-and-rule, inherited from British colonial administrators, and used an all-powerful and largely unaccountable presidency to reward ethnic allies. Notwithstanding reforms prompted by the violent crisis after the 2007 election, which resulted in a new constitution in 2010 that devolved power, established new checks on executive authority and entrenched judicial independence, Kenyan presidential elections remain winner-takes-all battles for power and control over state largesse. They involve fraught struggles between ethnic coalitions rather than contests over competing policy agendas or political visions for the country.

Ideally, a last-minute deal along the lines described above could create space for further steps to cool the political temperature and seek ways to improve the nature of political competition in future elections. Parliament, in which Kenyatta’s ruling party and its allies holds a plurality of seats with 193 out of 349 seats, should consider the creation of a position of official opposition leader, with a budget and perks. This would offer an olive branch to Odinga, reflect the support he commands (according to the electoral commission’s results he won some 45 per cent of votes in August) and help dial down tensions. It also would be a step toward greater inclusivity. Indeed, such a measure should be considered even if Odinga’s ceremony goes ahead.

Kenya’s leaders should also consider some form of national convention to review ways to reverse the zero-sum nature of elections. Power-sharing, which was used to resolve the 2007 crisis, appears no longer to be an option, since Kenyatta has named his cabinet. Both camps, however, might be open to talks on reform that could help end the cycle of election-driven political crises. These could consider farther-reaching reforms than those in the 2010 constitution, perhaps even examining the presidential system itself to widen representation in the executive. Such reform would likely be unpalatable so soon after a presidential election, but might be considered ahead of the next vote, scheduled in 2022. Moderates like respected former chief justice Willy Mutunga have called for such a convention to discuss fundamental structural reforms that might avert similar crises in future.

Kenya is one of Africa’s better established democracies and the economic and transport hub of East Africa. But its image and position are tarnished by repeated election crises. The 2010 constitution goes a long way toward improving Kenya’s political system and is justifiably a source of pride for the country. But last year’s protracted election crisis suggests further reforms are necessary. The country’s leaders – and Kenyatta and Odinga in particular – should move away from their confrontational positions and instead seek a path toward greater stability and prosperity.