Afghans rally for justice

2012-04-14 19:00
Kabul -Around 30 Afghans, half of them women, took to the streets of Kabul on Saturday to protest against the recent killing of five Afghan women.

The protesters held placards with slogans including "where is justice?" and "enforce law for violence against women".

Fatima Saidi, a 17-year old protester, told AFP: "We hold this rally on behalf of the Afghan women whose voices are not heard and we came to raise our voice against their killing.

"Even our government is not helping us to reduce violence against women," she added.

Sadaf Fitrat, another protester, said: "Why is the violence against women continuing in Afghanistan? Women have the right to live, work and study just like men, then why are they being killed?"

Since March, three women have been killed in western Herat, one in Khost in the north, and one in Paktia in the south-east.

More than 50 Afghan policemen equipped with shields were at the demonstration on Saturday.

Ferdous Samim, a male representative of Young Women for Change (YMC), the association which organised the event, said he was pleased by the number of demonstrators because "the event wasn't announced publicly for security reasons".

"We only invited people we trusted, so there was a limited number of people", he explained, saying people also "didn't want to appear in the media", whereas others experienced "issues in their families", which prevented them from coming.

Despite the overthrow of the Taliban from power in 2001 Afghan women have struggled since for improved rights in the impoverished, deeply conservative and war-torn country.

As the US and Afghan governments pursues peace efforts with the Taliban, which banned women from public life during their time in power, women are increasingly concerned that gains they have made may be compromised in a bid to end the costly and deadly war.

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