By Saleha Soadat
Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on Wednesday said that it recorded 550 cases of violence against women in the last month, showing a remarkable increase from previous months.
"In the last month, 550 cases of violence against including, beating, forced marriages, murder and rape – most of them happening in the remoter provinces of the country – have been recorded at the Human Rights Commission," AIHRC Women's Rights Coordinator Latifa Sultani said.
Sahar Gul, a 15-year old girl brutally tortured by her in-laws for refusing prostitution. Sahar's husband used to beat her and denied her enough food. She had had her nails pulled out with pliers and there were burn signs on her body. She suffered from severe mental stress and was in a critical condition. (Photo: RFE/RL)
Religious scholars condemned the perpetrators of the violence saying that families who commit such deeds against women are living in ignorance, unaware of the tenants of Islam and the rights of women.
"Families who commit any kind of violence against women are living in the era of ignorance. We are now living in the modern era of Islam, we should fight against such events," Afghan religious scholar Mawlawi Hedayatullah told TOLOnews.
The Afghan Women's Network (AWN) also expressed its concerns over the statistics saying that the numbers for last month were exceptional.
AWN chief Ferozan Mashal said she is working hard to launch an awareness programme in order for people to know what are women's rights.
The civil society is putting pressure on different organs to enforce laws. We also play a vital role in informing the people about what are their rights and the laws of the country," she told TOLOnews.
In the last fortnight, severe cases of abuse have been reported in Herat province including the beheading of a woman by her mother-in-law for refusing to be a prostitute, and the stabbing death of a woman at the hands of her husband.