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Editorial: Violence against women

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Violence against women is considered a widespread and undeniable realty in Afghanistan’s society. Women are suffering from different types of violence. They are going through physical, verbal and psychological, economic, sexual and other types of violence which can’t be explain simply. Child marriages and honor killing is another catastrophe.  It is not the end; they have been stoned to death, burned with gasoline, beaten or tortured by her in-laws, jailed for running away from a violent husband, or sold into marriage as a child. Slapping, pulling out hair is might be a common practice for some of them, and even experiencing more than one particular kinds of violence. Unable to escape their circumstances, some are turning to drastic measures like self-immolation to end their suffering. Despite tremendous efforts by government and the non-governmental organizations to safeguard women, still cases of violence against women are high. This is due to various reasons that are often in relation to harmful traditional practices and, in particular, women’s fear to face continued violence when reporting the acts of violence. Although, there have been significant improvements made in women rights issues, but there is still very much work needs to be done. Physical violence is the most common form of sadism against women in the country. More than 250 incident of violence against women took place last year in central Daikundi province only. Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said that statistics indicated a 10 percent surge in incidents of violence against women in the last year. Of the total 254 cases of violence against women, 80 percent were incidents of physical beatings. There is also concern of suicide attempt by women, as AIHRC had registered 60 suicide cases in Daikundi last year. Male superiority over women and other issues such as poverty could be taken as a sole reason behind growing incident of violence. 18 cases of elopement were also registered in the province. Women in far-flung areas are forced to work on farms and look after livestock—hard labor for females. Taking in mind physical weakness, women are unable to do such work. Moreover, according to reports, more than 3,700 cases of violence against women and girls in the first eight months of 2016 were registered. An indefatigable effort is the need of the hour to end every sort of violence against women. Without strong women’s participation, it would be almost impossible for the war-hit country to reach stability. Women’s active role, without fearing of violence, is a key element for progress in any society. If violence persists, Afghanistan would never reach sustainable human development objectives.