RUKHSHANA – a Theater Performance Based on a True Story

Dec 17, 2017

The main aim of the RUKHSHANA play was to increase awareness of people on women rights and access to justice. Photo: UNDP / Ajmal Sherzai / 2017

Rukshana is a theatre performance organized by The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) based on the true story of an Afghan woman who has suffered terrible violence and emerged as an icon for women’s rights. The performance, aimed at raising awareness about women rights and access to justice, was designed to help reduce violence against women and girls across the country.

Rukshana is a young woman who lives in Herat province, Afghanistan. When she was 12 years old, she was forced to marry a 50-year-old man. She was then forbidden to visit her parents, and she suffered domestic abuse at the hands of her in-laws. UNDP’s Access to Justice (AA2J) Project provided a lawyer to represent Rukhshana in court. With support from UNDP, Rukshana obtained a divorce, and her husband was sent to jail.

UNDP’s AA2J project is carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Justice. The project also supports the Legal Aid Grant Facility (LAGF) programme to bring justice closer to vulnerable groups. A total of 6375 cases in 8 provinces have been assisted by LAGF so far, including 939 female cases.

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