Monday, January 6, 2014

Violence against Afghan women hit record levels in 2013 as Obama proceeded with his 'exit strategy'

Although Afghan women witnessed a huge improvement in their every day lives after US forces brought an end to the Taliban reign in 2001, the basic rights they had won back, and the security they had regained, has deteriorated rapidly during President Obama's tenure in office, and even more rapidly in 2013, as more and more coalition troops have departed the country as part of Mr. Obama's so-called "exit strategy":
Violent crime against women in Afghanistan hit record levels and became increasingly brutal in 2013, the head of the country's human rights commission said on Saturday, a sign that hard won rights are being rolled back as foreign troops prepare to withdraw...

Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), told Reuters in a telephone interview that the brutality of attacks on women had greatly intensified last year.

"The brutality of the cases is really bad. Cutting the nose, lips and ears. Committing public rape," she said. "Mass rape... It's against dignity, against humanity."

She attributed the increase in crime to a culture of impunity and the imminent departure of international troops and aid workers, leaving women more exposed to attack...

"The presence of the international community and provincial reconstruction teams in most of the provinces was giving people confidence," Samar said.

"There were people there trying to protect women. And that is not there anymore, unfortunately."

Most foreign forces are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year and it is unclear whether any will remain beyond 2014 as relations deteriorate between Afghan authorities and their U.S. backers.

An AIHRC spokesman said the latest figures for 2013 showed a 25 percent increase in cases of violence against women for March through September... [According to UN report published in December, violence against women increased 28% in the past year.]

Another sign that rights for women have been rolled back in recent years is a rise in cases of self-immolation, a desperate last resort for women in abusive situations.

The burn unit of Herat hospital, one of two in Afghanistan, admitted a record number of women who had attempted to set themselves on fire in 2012.
Apparently, women's rights, and the protection of women, is just not Obama's cup of tea......