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PAN, April 12, 2013

Five women found dead over the past three weeks in Afghan province

She feared the prevalence of suicidal tendencies among girls could rise faster due to domestic violence

By Muhammad Jan Tamkin

Civil society and human rights activists on Friday expressed their deep concern over increasing murders of women and rising tendency of suicide among them in northern Jawzjan province, where five women were found dead over the past three weeks.

Four women were found dead in Aqcha district and one in Shiberghan, the provincial capital, where police had arrested a man for beheading his wife over "moral crime".

Bodies of a woman and a 10-year-old boy were found in Aqcha. The boy has reportedly been murdered after he was sexually abused.

In anguish and fear, human rights and civil society activists said they mulled launching a protest movement to press the government into taking actions against those involved in murdering women.

They asked the government to take urgent steps at addressing their concerns about increasing crimes against women in Jawzan.

"We are deeply concerned about the situation of women in Jawzjan and are desperate to know why women are beheaded and why most women seriously consider taking their lives," said Zakia, a civil society activist.

She feared the prevalence of suicidal tendencies among girls could rise faster due to domestic violence that had a negative impact the life of others.

Zakia said suicides by women in the province had been a result of domestic violence that needed urgent attention on the part of the government.

Another civil society activist said the government should initiate actions against the perpetrators behind violence against women.

She suggested the government should launch programmes that could create awareness among families how to treat their female members and violent acts against them.

Marina, a schoolteacher, believed education could help counter violence against women. She suggested girl students could be encouraged by their teachers not to feel suicidal.

A day earlier, some civil society activists visited the office of Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in Shiberghan to call for steps at stemming growing violence against women.

AIHRC chief for Jawzjan and Sar-i-Pul Maghfirat Samimi said they would hold a consultative meeting on Saturday with the provincial attorney, judges, police and intelligence officials over the situation of women.

Samimi linked domestic violence to abject poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. She expressed her grave concern over mysterious deaths of women in Jawzjan. She said 26 women killed themselves last Afghan calendar year, compared with 12 such deaths in the previous year.

Afghanistan Ulema Council member Maulvi Mohammad Shebai said committing suicide was not allowed in Islam. The cleric urged prayer leaders to deliver sermons at mosques against committing suicide and families to shun violence on their female members.

Category: Women, HR Violations - Views: 5511