News / Asia

Gunmen Kill Afghan Women's Affairs Official

Afghan men pray during the funeral of Najia Sidiqi, the acting director of the women's affairs department in Mihtarlam, December 10, 2012.
Afghan men pray during the funeral of Najia Sidiqi, the acting director of the women's affairs department in Mihtarlam, December 10, 2012.
Sharon Behn
Gunmen on Monday shot and killed an Afghan women's affairs official, just months after her predecessor was assassinated in a car bombing. As the United Nations marks Human Rights Day women still face challenges in Afghanistan.
 
Najia Sediqi was on her way to work in the capital of eastern Laghman province when she was gunned down Monday. The drive-by killing had all the hallmarks of a Taliban targeted attack.
 
Sediqi was the acting director of the provincial women's affairs department. She had stepped in to lead the office after the July assassination of Hanifa Safi, who was killed when a bomb attached to her car exploded.
 
A spokesman for the provincial governor's office, Sarhadi Zawak, said Sediqi had just left her home in Mehtarlam when she was attacked by gunmen on a motorbike.
 
The spokesman said that Sediqi's killing was part of an insurgent campaign of terror aimed at professional women.

He says, "Opponents always try to spread fear, and to show those women who work shoulder to shoulder with the government that they will face considerable challenges, and thereby force them to stop working."
 
According to Human Rights Watch, the situation for women's rights in Afghanistan is particularly bad. The New York-based rights group cites threats and attacks by insurgents on female leaders, school girls and women trying to escape domestic violence.
 
If the Afghan government is not able to secure the safety of women, says activist Rana Nooristani. "Then that will of course cause a lot of problems for the women, and that will really discourage women to do more or to work outside the home or to work outside, or be active in society, to play their role actively," she said.
 
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul condemned the attack and praised Sediqi for her unwavering dedication to women's rights.
 
Since the U.S.-led ouster of the Taliban in 2001, women and girls in Afghanistan have won back some basic rights, including being able to go to school and work outside the home. But some fear that these gains are fragile, and could be traded for peace with the Taliban after international forces leave in 2014.

An Afghan policeman inspects the interior of a car belonging to the chief of police of Nimroz province, that was hit by a roadside bomb, in the Hadraskan district of Herat province, December 10, 2012.An Afghan policeman inspects the interior of a car belonging to the chief of police of Nimroz province, that was hit by a roadside bomb, in the Hadraskan district of Herat province, December 10, 2012.
x
An Afghan policeman inspects the interior of a car belonging to the chief of police of Nimroz province, that was hit by a roadside bomb, in the Hadraskan district of Herat province, December 10, 2012.
An Afghan policeman inspects the interior of a car belonging to the chief of police of Nimroz province, that was hit by a roadside bomb, in the Hadraskan district of Herat province, December 10, 2012.
Also Monday, a roadside bomb killed the police chief for the southwestern province of Nimroz.

The attacks following the wounding of Afghanistan's intelligence chief in an assassination attempt last week in Kabul.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid