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Bretigne Shaffer

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Who's To Blame For More Violence Against Afghan Women?

Hillary Afghan

The plight of Afghan women is in the news again. In December, Reuters warned that "(a)larm rises for Afghan women prisoners after Western troops leave," and Macleans published a plea from Afghan parliamentarian and women’s rights advocate Fawzia Koofi, for Western troops to remain in her country.  

Earlier this month, Russia Today reported that:

Violent crimes against women in Afghanistan reached an unprecedented level of brutality in 2013, an Afghan human rights watchdog has announced as the US-led coalition prepares to withdraw.

Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), Sima Samar, told Reuters that the pace and the hideousness of attacks on women intensified in 2013 with a 25 per cent surge in cases from March through September.

'The brutality of the cases is really bad. Cutting the nose, lips and ears. Committing public rape,' Samar said. 'Mass rape... It's against dignity, against humanity.’

The spokeswoman noted that as the withdrawal deadline draws near for international troops, women in tribal areas are less protected, leaving them vulnerable to violent assaults.

’The presence of the international community and provincial reconstruction teams in most of the provinces was giving people confidence,’ Samar said. 'There were people there trying to protect women. And that is not there anymore, unfortunately.'

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