Violent crime against women in Afghanistan hit record levels and became increasingly brutal in 2013, the head of the country’s human rights commission said this weekend — a sign that hard won rights are being rolled back as foreign troops prepare to withdraw.
Restoring women’s rights after the Taliban was ousted by a U.S.-led coalition of troops in 2001 has been frequently cited as one of the objectives of the war. Under Taliban rule, women were required to wear the head-to-toe covering burqa and barred from leaving their homes without being escorted by a male relative. Schools for girls were shut also down.
But advances towards greater freedoms for women in the country have been undermined by a worrying uptick in violence
The United Nations in December reported a 28 percent increase in cases of brutality against women for October 2012 through September 2013. Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), told Reuters that the severity of attacks on women had greatly intensified last year.
“The brutality of the cases is really bad. Cutting the nose, lips and ears. Committing public rape,” she said.
Read the rest: Violent Oppression of Women in Afghanistan is on the Rise.