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Afghanistan: Woman attacked for ‘working’ outside home

Rida Shaikh

A 33-year-old Afghan woman was shot and blinded by a group of three men for landing her dream job. The woman worked at a police station in Afghanistan’s central Ghazni province. The last thing that she saw was her attackers on a motorcycle after she left her job. They shot her and stabbed her eyes with a knife. She was immediately rushed to a hospital. After being operated on, when she woke up in the hospital, she could merely see darkness surrounding her.

She said, “I asked the doctors, why I can’t see anything? They told me that my eyes are still bandaged because of the wounds. But at that moment, I knew my eyes had been taken from me.”

The local authorities and the woman have blamed the Taliban terrorists for the attack. However, the Taliban terrorists have refused all their claims and said that the woman’s father tipped off the attackers because he strongly opposed her working outside of the home.

The woman, identified as Khatera, had always dreamed of having an independent career. The attack did not just cost her eyesight but it also damaged her career for which she had battled her entire life. She joined the Ghazni police as an officer in it’s crime branch just a few months back.

She said, “I wish I had served in police at least a year. If this had happened to me after that, it would have been less painful. It happened too soon … I only got to work and live my dream for three months.”

Human rights activists say that the violent backlash against working women is an increasingly growing trend nowadays in Afghanistan. The Taliban are currently negotiating with the Afghanistan Government in Doha, Qatar. They are expected to return to power once the treaty is established. However, the process has slowed down and there have been numerous attacks on officials and distinguished women across the country.


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