By AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Women are at the frontline in protecting women’s human rights in Afghanistan. They are teachers, doctors, journalists, activists and politicians. Many have been killed or threatened because of their work to protect women’s rights, while some have fled the country. They face intimidation and attacks; some are threatened by their families for daring to speak out. The Taliban see their work as defying culture, religion and accepted role of women in society.
As Australian troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan at the end of 2013 the question must be asked, what will happen to the women? Amnesty International spoke to four brave and committed women – some who have paid a high price for their bravery – about the risks they face in championing the rights of women and girls. Here is the first of their stories. For security reasons, names* have been changed.
Dr. D. works as a gynaecologist providing healthcare to women suffering from abuse, including rape and domestic violence. She spoke Amnesty International how her family was targeted by the Taliban as a result of her work.
The problems started back in 2007 when I was living in Kunar province. I was working in a clinic frequently carrying out abortions on girls who had fallen pregnant after being raped by their male relatives.
There were different kinds of cases, for example, girls pregnant by their uncles, others by their brother-in-laws. They came to my clinic because they had to have an abortion or they would have been killed by their relatives or members or their community as an “honour” killing.