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

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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’.

HJS



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