The FINANCIAL, November 25, 2009
Violence against Afghan, Pakistani women escalates in 2009
In Afghanistan's Herat province alone, there were 65 registered suicide attempts by women setting themselves on fire, the majority of whom died.
KABUL, Human rights activists have noted a large-scale growth in violence toward Afghan women, hundreds of whom are beaten, intimidated or sexually assaulted by men daily.
RAWA: Mother of Saima, a 14-year-old girl victim of gang-rape in Northern Afghanistan. She told to an Afghan TV Channel on November 24, 2009, that the warlords not only raped her daughter but also imprisoned her husband and son when they publicized the issue and asked for justice.
According to figures from an Afghan independent committee on human rights published on Wednesday, 1,700 cases of violence toward women were officially registered since the end of March 2009. Last year, a total of more than 2,000 incidents were officially recorded.
International Day on the Elimination of Violence against Women is observed November 25.
According to the latest statistics released in a separate biannual report by Aurat Foundation, a total of 4,514 incidents of violence against women were reported in neighboring Pakistan in four provinces and the capital of Islamabad during January to June 2009.
According to the Aurat report, there were 691 registered cases of murder, 293 cases of honor killing, 1,046 cases of abduction, 332 cases of domestic violence, 388 cases of suicide and 466 cases of rape and gang rape.
According to the human rights activists' publication, the number of suicides among women has also grown. In Afghanistan's Herat province alone, there were 65 registered suicide attempts by women setting themselves on fire, the majority of whom died. Over the last week, there were five such incidents.
The activists believe that many Afghan women suffer from domestic violence, social disorder, unemployment, lack of medical services, drug addiction, hunger and chronic illness.
The activists named the armed conflict that has been going on for some 30 years in Afghanistan as one of the main factors for suicide and violence within the family.
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