Afghan women still face brutal abuses, says UN report

Posted By: Anita Nair
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London, Dec 10 (ANI): Afghan women still reportedly suffer horrible abuses, including forced marriages, 'honour' killings and are compelled somehow or the other to take the extreme step of self-immolation.

According to figures quoted in the UN report, in 57 percent of Afghan marriages one of the partners is younger than 16.

The Guardian quoted Ahmad Fahim Hakim, the deputy chairman of Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission, as saying that that although Aisha, the Afghan girl whose nose and ears were cut off by her husband, was lucky enough to escape serious abuses, many women in the country do not sufficient help to avoid such situations.

"For sure, we have hundreds of Bibi Aishas in Afghanistan," Hakim added.

His remarks came after the news that one of the men responsible for attacking Aisha was arrested, a move that was applauded by human rights activists saying this was a sign that the Afghan authorities are starting to take deep-rooted abuse of women seriously, the paper said.

Hakim also said that Afghanistan is still under the purview of forced marriages, the giving away of infant girls to future husbands to settle disputes, 'honour' killings and desperate women resorting to death by self-immolation.

The report by the UN's Afghanistan mission said that such practices are problem in all communities and cause "suffering, humiliation and marginalisation for millions of Afghan women and girls".

"Many of the women told us that, instead of the murderer being punished, an innocent girl is punished and has to spend her life in slavery and subject to cruel violence," the paper quoted Georgette Gagnon, the UN's director of human rights in Kabul, as saying.

Earlier, 18-year-old Aisha's nose and ears were sliced off with the approval of a Taliban commander by her abusive husband as punishment for running away, setting an example for other wives to think twice before trying to escape their abusive in-laws. (ANI)

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