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The Scoop
July 16, 2012

Surge in Afghan honour killings is a sign of things to come

Emily Dyer

Women murdered in so-called ‘honour killings’ in Afghanistan has more than doubled since last year.

Afghanistan’s independent human rights commission has found that, of the 52 girls and women murdered in the past four months, 42 were ‘honour killings’. This shows a sharp increase from the 20 murders that took place throughout the whole of last year.

After refusing her cousin’s advances for months, fifteen-year-old Tamana was unable to hide her unhappiness after being forced to marry him. She was beaten and murdered for being a ‘disobedient wife’. The alleged killer, a relative of Tamana, has not been arrested – but as ‘compensation’, his sister was illegally given to Tamana’s brother as a bride.

Through seeking peace talks with the Taliban as the 2014 withdrawal date for US-led troops looms nearer, President Hamid Karzai has sold out to women. Under the Taliban’s rule from 1996-2001, women were banned from leaving their homes without permission and a male escort and were denied education and the right to vote.

Several weeks ago I wrote about Fawzia Koofi, an Afghani woman fighting to be recognised in her struggle for presidency of the country, who said that ‘Karzai has certainly changed, and women’s issues are no longer a priority for him’.

Emily Dyer

About Emily Dyer

Emily joined the Henry Jackson Society as a researcher in January 2012. She is currently researching women’s rights in Egypt having recently co-authored Al-Qaeda in the United States: A Complete Analysis of Terrorism Offenses. Emily previously worked as a Higher Executive Officer for the Preventing Extremism Unit at the Department for Education, where she wrote several papers on extremism within educational settings. Beforehand she was based at the Policy Exchange think tank. Emily has written for a broad range of publications including The Observer, The Telegraph, The Huffington Post, City AM, The Atlantic, CTC Sentinel and Standpoint magazine, largely on women’s rights in the Middle East, extremism, and human rights. Emily studied International Relations from the University of Birmingham, where she produced a First class dissertation on Islamic feminism in Iran, and has travelled widely within Syria and Turkey.

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