In the latest case that has attracted widespread attention both in Afghanistan and abroad, a court has set free three Afghans who were originally jailed for torturing a young female relative who had refused to become a prostitute.
Sahar Gul was sold and forced into marriage by her brother when she was about 13 or 14. When she refused to consummate the marriage, she was subjected to all kinds of physical torture by her husband and his family, including being beaten and imprisoned.
Gul's mother-in-law, sister-in-law and father-in-law were convicted and sentenced to 10 years in jail for the torture. But a court has reversed their convictions, a decision that has angered rights groups.
And now the Afghan government is under mounting pressure to do more to protect women. It delivered its response to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women but in the light of the case, human rights advocates have talked about worrying setbacks.