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VIOLENCE AGAINST AFGHAN WOMEN IS ENDEMIC ?


Dismal situation. Human Rights Watch claim Afghani women are not protected from rape and murder
KABUL — Afghan women are among the worst off in the world, violence against them is “endemic” and Afghanistan’s government fails to protect them from crimes such as rape and murder, a rights group said today.
Human Rights Watch said in a report the situation for women in Afghanistan is “dismal in every area.”
  • “Women will not seek help because of their fears of police abuse and corruption, or their fears of retaliation by perpetrators of violence,” said the 96-page report, which is based on 120 interviews from different Afghan provinces.
  • Afghanistan is a deeply conservative, Muslim country where women have only been allowed to return to work and education since 2001, when the Taliban were overthrown by US-led forces.
  • “Whereas the trend had clearly been positive for women’s rights from 2001-2005, the trend now is negative in many areas ... it is a reflection of the power of conservative leaders who want to deny women their basic rights,” the report said.
  • The report cites cases where rapists have been pardoned by the government, girls and women have been imprisoned for running away from home, rape victims have been charged with adultery and where women in public life have been murdered.
  • It comes a week after the United Nations said violence and rape against women in Afghanistan was a problem of “profound proportions.”
  • When President Hamid Karzai was first elected president of Afghanistan in 2004, he appointed three women ministers. Five years on, the minister for women’s affairs is the last remaining female in the cabinet.
  • The report’s author said Karzai’s reliance on support from powerful former warlords has further restricted women from making progress in Afghan society and government, and attacks on women in public life seem to be worsening.
Source: Reuters
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