Afghanistan

Afghanistan's parliament failed to pass a law on Saturday banning violence against women, a severe blow to progress made in women's rights in the conservative Muslim country since the Islamist Taliban was toppled over a decade ago.

The woman, who has two children, was shot dead on Monday 22 April by her father in front of a crowd of about 300 people in the village of Kookchaheel, in the Aabkamari district of Badghis province in north-western Afghanistan.

If, as seems likely, Mr. Mohammad cannot repay his debt to a fellow camp resident a year from now, his daughter Naghma, a smiling, slender child with a tiny gold stud in her nose, will be forced to leave her family’s home forever to be married to the lender’s 17-year-old son.

In July 2012, Najiba, 21 was stoned and shot dead in Ghorband Valley of Parwan Province in front of a hundred and fifteen men in the community, cheering the stoning. This horrific incident was filmed by a community member who was present. Najiba had been accused of moral crimes by the local warlords and commanders, while the government blamed the Taleban insurgency.

It was the second time in less than six months that the person holding that post has been assassinated. In the latest attack, two assailants on a motorcycle gunned down Najia Sediqi, the acting head, as she was getting into a rickshaw in Mehtar Lam, the provincial capital, according to Ahmad Gul Baidar, the head of administrative affairs for the women’s department.

KABUL, Afghanistan — The acting head of women’s affairs in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan was shot to death in daylight on Monday as she was traveling to work.It was the second time in less than six months that the person holding that post has been assassinated. In the latest attack, two assailants on a motorcycle gunned down Najia Sediqi, the acting head, as she was getting into a rickshaw in Mehtar Lam, the provincial capital, according to Ahmad Gul Baidar, the head of administrative affairs for the women’s department.

Just the other week, on Sunday, December 2nd, a tenth grader from Mahmoud Raqi Girls High School in Kapisa Province of Afghanistan was shot seven times by a group of men while she was walking home from school.

Anisa was a volunteer for a polio vaccination campaign ran by the Ministry of Public Health. Anisa was killed for going to school. She was killed for vaccinating children. And she was killed for working outside her home.

The Afghan Women's Network has condemned the killing of Kapisa schoolgirl, Anisa, who was shot dead allegedly by Taliban members on Sunday.

JALALABAD, Afghanistan — It is doubly miraculous that the young woman named Gul Meena is alive. After she was struck by an ax 15 times, slashing her head and face so deeply that it exposed her brain, she held on long enough to reach medical care and then, despite the limitations of what the doctors could do, clung to life. 

Fawzia Koofi is an Afghan women's rights activist and MP. She has already declared that she will run for president in 2014. In this interview with Martin Gerner, she outlines the two policy areas closest to her heart and explains why some Afghans view the timeline for the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan with trepidation.

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