Grinding poverty and the escalating war is driving an increasing number of Afghan families to sell their daughters into forced marriages.
Girls as young as six are being married into a life of slavery and rape, often by multiple members of their new relatives. Banned from seeing their own parents or siblings, they are also prohibited from going to school. With little recognition of the illegality of the situation or any effective recourse, many of the victims are driven to self-immolation – burning themselves to death – or severe self-harm.
Six years after the US and Britain "freed" Afghan women from the oppressive Taliban regime, a new report proves that life is just as bad for most, and worse in some cases.
Projects started in the optimistic days of 2002 have begun to wane as the UK and its Nato allies fail to treat women's rights as a priority, workers in the country insist.
The statistics in the report from Womankind, Afghan Women and Girls Seven Years On, make shocking reading. Violent attacks against females, usually domestic, are at epidemic proportions with 87 per cent of females complaining of such abuse – half of it sexual. More than 60 per cent of marriages are forced.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Afghan women today
Back in 2001, I had an argument with an old friend about the U.S. plans to attack Afghanistan. My friend insisted that the war was a good thing because we were going to liberate women from the Taliban.
Well, take a look at this excerpt from an article entitled "Women's lives worse than ever":