Savage Escalation in the War on Afghan Women


Violence against Afghan females is rapidly escalating in both frequency and savagery, its latest victim a 14-year-old girl named Gastina who was nearly decapitated with a hunting knife for refusing a marriage proposal from her 25-year-old cousin.

Gastina was walking to her home in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province when she was attacked by her cousin Sadeq and another male relative, both of whom proceeded to break her hands and feet before slitting her throat nearly to the bone.

Gastina’s ghastly death sentence was carried out because her family had reportedly turned down Sadeq’s repeated marriage requests, claiming Gastina was too young for marriage. That rebuff was apparently so stinging that it necessitated Sadeq brutally murder the young teenager.

It should be noted that such horrific acts of violence are unfortunately the norm throughout Afghanistan’s highly patriarchal society, where cultural and religious tenets have long allowed most Muslim men to treat women and girls little better than human chattel.

As such, Afghanistan has been named the “world’s most dangerous country in which to be born a woman,” a nightmarish hell where nearly 90 percent of women and girls have reportedly experienced some form of “physical, sexual or psychological violence.”

Yet despite that disturbing misogynistic track record, Afghan government officials and human rights activists have found that the violence levied against woman and girls is reaching, even by Afghan standards, terrifying new heights. As an official with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs recently said, “The violence is more severe than in previous years.”

That severity was documented by Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), which recorded over 4,000 cases of violence against women and girls in 2012 — 550 cases in September alone — a nearly 25 percent increase from 2011.

These acts of violence include “domestic violence and abuse, torture, beatings, physical mutilation, murder, and rape.” Perhaps most disturbing, AIHRC found that 80 percent of the cases involved girls under 18.

In the past two months, these acts of barbarism include a 20-year-old newlywed in Heart province beheaded by her in-laws for refusing their demands that she become a prostitute; a 16-year-old girl in Ghazni province publicly whipped over 100 times for allegedly having an affair; a woman in Herat stabbed to death by her husband for seeking work outside the home; and a 20-year-old woman in Badakhshan province who was imprisoned for several months in the home of a married couple who sexually abused, beat and tortured her.

Afghanistan, according to AIHRC, has also been plagued by an upsurge in the number of honor killings. These victims include a 30-year-old woman beheaded by her divorced husband in Ghazni province; a 22-year-old woman choked to death by her husband in Kunduz province; a 40-year-old woman beheaded by her husband in Khost province; and a 26-year-old woman in Baghlan province who was first choked to death and then burned up with boiling hot water.

While the cause that sparks these individual acts of brutality may vary, the one common theme that joins them is the involvement of family members in the majority of the cases.

To that end, the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs found that more than 50 percent of the victims in the nearly 500 cases of violence against women the department registered in 2012 were a result of domestic violence.

An offshoot of that familial violence also includes women and girls killing themselves each year to escape failed, and often violent, forced marriages. These marriages more often than not come complete with a torrent of physical and emotional abuse issued from the bride’s husband and family.

As such, these desperate women and girls will flee their matrimonial hell through an assortment of gruesome means, such as taking rat poison or insecticides, hanging themselves, and even self-immolation.

In fact, some girls don’t even wait around for the nuptials to take place. Such was the case in November 2012 when a 17-year-old girl named Farima tried to escape her impending forced marriage by jumping from her apartment building, a fall in which she survived, but broke her back.

For its part, the Afghan government has said that despite the spike in gender-based violence, it has taken proactive steps, often citing the Elimination of Violence Against Woman law (EVAW). The EVAW, which was enacted in 2009, criminalizes such things as child marriage, forced marriage and domestic abuse.

As Qodsia Niazi, an Afghan prosecutor, said, “We have dealt with 1,320 cases of violence against women since last year, mostly concerning assault, harassment, coercion to prostitution, sexual abuse and mutilation…Such trials are very effective in reducing violence against women.”

Yet, not everyone agrees with that assessment. For starters, a UN report in November 2011 found that the EVAW act was rarely enforced, citing as an example the 2,299 crimes reported in 2010, of which only 155 cases, or just 7 percent, were prosecuted.

That lack of judicial zeal may stem from the fact that when Afghan women do seek help from Afghanistan’s courts and police, they are often pressured by authorities to withdraw their complaints, or failing that, find themselves arrested and jailed for committing “moral crimes.”

As one human rights activist has said, “The government’s failure to effectively enforce the 2009 law on elimination of violence against women encourages men to believe that they can kill and attack a women with impunity.”

Not surprisingly, that impunity has given an increasingly large number of women and girls precious little hope that their viscous maltreatment will end anytime soon.

That sentiment was perhaps best expressed by a young woman named Kamela, who was first married off to a 35-year-old man when she was 14. That marriage ended shortly after their wedding when he found out she had been sexually abused by her cousin, a transgression which caused him to terminate the marriage.

Upon returning home, Kamela’s father, his familial honor now “disrespected,” brutally beat Kamela before locking her in a barn, only to free her four months later after he sold her to a 78-year-old man for $30,000.

As Kamala said, “People are usually aggrieved with other people, but I am aggrieved at God. It would have been better if He hadn’t created me in the first place if I was fated to live with so much suffering. Is there anything other than death that can help me?”

Sadly, it’s a tragic question being asked by an ever increasing number of Afghan women and girls.

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  • objectivefactsmatter

    "As Kamala said, “People are usually aggrieved with other people, but I am aggrieved at God. It would have been better if He hadn’t created me in the first place if I was fated to live with so much suffering. Is there anything other than death that can help me?”

    Where is the "sharia is harmless" crowd? Oh, it's cultural, not religious. Sure, religion of peace, etc. The variations are not that great from country to country when sharia law is followed. It's what follows when a totalitarian death-cult is allowed to thrive in no small part with the assistance of the West, in particular, the USA…thanks to absolutely clueless liberals, and conservative leaders who are politically afraid to take on those lunatics.

    • PhillipGaley

      Yes. And as it actualizes, Islam is not a religion, . . .

      • objectivefactsmatter

        Not as we define religion in the West.

  • PhillipGaley

    I would say—as when the Australian commander put an end to cannibalism in New Guinea, shooting a pig, and communicating to the elders that, if their cannibalism did not stop, the same fate as the pig's, would be theirs, and, as the inferior nations continue at the grace of those superior—these wrongful conditions in Afghanistan should be taken in hand and put to an appropriate end, . . .

    • elena

      You are right, but we Westerners no longer have the courage to do that. We are sissies now.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "You are right, but we Westerners no longer have the courage to do that. We are sissies now."

        That's certainly true of our leaders. The heroes are culled out long before most of them can do any good any more.

    • Mary Sue

      An Australian Commander put an end to Cannibalism? How dare he interfere in the practice of their culture! [/whiny morally confused equivalent leftard]

  • Erik

    Before we leave that place, we should provide any woman who wants one with a small automatic hand gun. Something she can hide under her burka. At least then, before killing themselves, they can take a bastard with them.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      OK.

      Democrats claim Republicans are making a "war on women." OK. Who assists the totalitarian women-eaters? 0'Bama and other liberals, obviously.

      Here is what I expect from any president in the future now that we know what happens when a liberal gets in the Whitehouse. We must execute nation-building to such perfection that it is beyond rational criticism. We can get virtually every thinking woman's vote.

      We start with constitutional amendments that state we will no longer EVER supply aid to any nation that does not separate church and state and adopt a Japanese style constitution. We develop a plan for the religious crazies to have their own state within the nation (a 2 state federation) but the religious state is unarmed and policed by the superior secular state that we have our bilateral relationship with. If they have any gripes about oppression, they take it up with the secular federal government.

      We never, ever fall for this BS about how "oppressing" jihad and jihadis is somehow bad, or oppression of religion to do so. It's like hearing someone tell me we oppressed the Nazis on D-Day in Normandy. We must also pass a federal law about history teaching standards, including segments on constitutional law and standards for sources used.

      Due to Islam, this Japanese-style constitution will have safeguards to ensure that women have shelters fully funded and other policies so that any woman can immediately leave abusive "spouses" as we know certain religions have traditions of considering women nothing short of house slaves or worse.

      We'll save so much money on defense, and peace will break out all over the place as we empower secular governments without any possible claim of colonialism because we simply empower local politicians who are willing to be constrained by a secular constitution.

      This is how Truman or any other great president would handle Islam. This is what any president should do that has the fortitude and wisdom. If Bush had done this, he'd be considered one of the greatest presidents ever. He let those f-ing liberals steal the agenda shortly after the Iraq war started and it seemed to scare him, plus he clearly didn't have the vision for the problems that were soon to unfold. He's a dupe of the Saudis.

      Gingrich could do it if he was electable. I don't know who else has the vision and guts. If Allen West gets elected!

      :>)

  • Infidel Prime

    Muslims violence against women isn't unique to Afghanistan, it's happening everywhere Muslims exist. Here in America such a thing was never heard of until we started granting Muslims asylum and unneeded immigration from Muslim countries. Now we have Muslims making demands that our government, schools and society in general accept their culture and make provisions for it. Why? Because they have allies in every level of government now. You can not name a government agency anymore that doesn't have a Muslim adviser to advise us on how to treat Muslims. If that isn't a fox in the hen house scenario I don't know what is.

  • Ghostwriter

    To those who think sharia law's nothing to worry,they should read the above article. That'll make them very nervous.

  • Stuart Parsons

    Oh my, my, my ! What kind of foolish woman would refuse to marry a follower of the Mighty Mythical Allah ? They are denying the mens right to enter their tlth as they please and they are refusing to be the regular punchbags of the faithfull males who follow the teachings of the Mighty Mythical Allah. Gosh golly me, when the Day of Judgement arrives, they will be condemned to join all the wicked infidels in Hell.
    These ladies should remember that Mr Morsi, Osama Bin Obama and THe Mighty Allah know best.

  • "gunner"

    there are times when i think vlad tepes had the right idea about how to treat muslims.

  • Kepha

    Sorry, but I am not about to weep for the women of Afghanistan or anywhere else in the Dar-ul-Islam.

    Those bipedal sows have encouraged their sons to strap on bomb vests and kill themselves along with American soldiers in Afghanistan, while their coreligionists in Gaza urge their kids to kill themselves and take a few of their Israeli peers with them. With any luck, they'll have nobody to care for them in decrepit old age–especially when their husbands give them tlukhtukhtiX3. They danced in the street on 09/11/01. I'm old enough to remember the chador-clad women of Tehran screaming "Mar-bar-Amrika!" everytime some greasy-bearded mullah waved his slick, perfumed hand.

    In the wake of 9/11, when I was a non-traditional grad student, we were subjected to a parade of Afghan feminists (all seven of them) telling us how evil the Taliban were. Fine. Take asylum here.

    And, let's be generous with asylum for any members of non-Muslim minorities from those countries.

    But, now that Osama Bin Laden sleeps with the fishes, we might as well leave those poor darlings of Afghanistan–and the rest of the Dar– to their own men. They deserve them.

    • wsk

      Remember, for the most part, these women are kept uneducated and mentally subjugated. Some really don't know any better.

  • Parenthetical Phrase

    I think what will happen is that Afghanistan will eventually disappear due to the low birth rate, high suicide and murder rate, high drug addiction rate, lack of healthcare, proper nutrition, etc. In 10 years maximum, it will not exist anymore. The land will be annexed by Pakistan or Iran. It will be studied in history classes as the closest thing to Hell on Earth.

    • wsk

      The country has been around for more than 2 thousand years; we'll be gone before they will.

  • wyx wyzinski

    my heart bleeds for the poor muslim women. for 14 centuries they have obeyed allah, revered the pedophile, raised good muslim boys in the tradition of islam, and , surprise, they turn into hate filled murderous musim men who oppress everyone, including muslim women. bleed, bleed. if muslim women ever get tired of the raping, beating, humiliation, and murder that their muslim men deal out to them, first they might try recognizing their complicity and guilt in the crime that is islam. then they can atone for 14 centuries of oppression of everyone else at the hands of their muslim men, aided and abetted by the poor abused muslim women, and start strangling every male muslim in his crib. no young male muslim murderers, eventually no old male muslim murderers. no male muslims, soon no islam. and that would be the best thing that has ever happened to the world. so whine, cry, and complain, muslim women. you are the cause of your own abuse, and only you can stop it.