Report Says Afghan Women Facing Violence, Abuse

30 May 2005 -- Amnesty International says women in Afghanistan continue to suffer widespread abuse that goes largely unpunished.

In a report released today, the London-based rights group says few Afghan women are safe from the threat of violence.

The report is titled "Afghanistan: Women Under Attack." It says Afghan women are at daily risk of abduction, rape, and forced marriage, as well as being traded as chattel to settle disputes and debts.

Amnesty says such violence is widely accepted by local communities and inadequately addressed at the highest levels of the government and the judiciary.

The group blames state institutions for their "systematic failure" to protect women from abuse and violence within and outside families.

A spokeswoman for Afghanistan's Women's Affairs Ministry (Nooria Haqnagar) acknowledged the abuse. She said the government is working to improve the lives of women, but that the number of abuse cases is on the rise.

Source: Radio Free Afghanistan [Afghan service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty]

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