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First Lady Rula Ghani aims to elevate Afghanistan’s women

By: Ali M. Latifi As the wife of the newly elected president, Rula Ghani stands to be the first publicly visible wife of an Afghan leader in nearly a century. But unlike her most direct antecedent — Queen Soraya, who along with her husband, King Amanullah, ruled Afghanistan from 1919 to 1929 — she has no intention of drastically upending Afghan social norms. Instead, Rula Ghani, a Lebanese Maronite Christia ...

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Women in Khost demand justice and peace

KHOST : On Saturday, women social activists and community leaders in the southeastern Khost province urged President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to strive for peace in the country and to ensure gender justice while distributing power. The rights’ activists gathered today in the provincial women affair’s department. Sultan Zari, a mother who had lost three sons who were serving in the police department, highlighte ...

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Taliban behead 15 civilians including women, children in Ghazni

The Taliban militants have beheaded 15 civilians, including women and children in eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan. According to local government officials, the civilians were beheaded by Taliban in Ajristan district on Thursday night after raiding their homes. Provincial governor spokesman, Shafiq Nang said the victims were family members of the Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan Local Police (A ...

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Afghanistan orders strict action against sexual abuse of children

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) instructed police to take strict actions against the abuse of children during wedding ceremonies. MoI delivered a statement after a meeting that had been called to discuss the disruption of security by irresponsible individuals firing shots into the air. This comes after the death of at least one person and the injury of five others as a result of shots fired into the air duri ...

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Paghman gang rape: Appeal court proceedings begin

KABUL : A court of appeal on Monday began an open trial of seven convicts in the Paghman gang rape case, an official said. The men had been accused of looting passengers and sexually assaulting four women after intercepting vehicles on the main road in Paghman. The Attorney General Office (AGO) had said that 10 people were involved in the rape case and seven of them had been arrested so far. Azizullah, Must ...

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‘Talk to me, not about me’: Afghan women left out in the cold by NATO

World leaders are converging this week on Newport, Wales for the NATO summit. The agenda is extremely full and Afghanistan is no longer at the forefront of people’s concerns. Nevertheless, it is a key moment for Afghanistan. NATO states will debate a training and support mission for staying in Afghanistan after military forces leave, but will this mission take into account the needs of Afghan women? Afghani ...

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It’s Been a Rough Year for Afghans, Especially Women and Children

A new biannual U.N. report is not encouraging for hopes that Afghanistan might maintain some measure of stability as U.S. troops draw down. The report counts 4,853 civilian casualties in the first half of 2014 including 1,564 deaths, a 17 percent increase over the number of deaths in the same period last year. Child casualties more than doubled and the number of women casualties increased by 60 percent. The ...

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Women’s Successful Rise in Politics

With the declining presence of the international community in Afghanistan after thirteen years, Afghan women’s progress in social and political areas seem unstoppable. The recent announcement of the results of provincial council elections showed women leading in relatively secure provinces like Kabul, Bamiyan and Daikondi. While, the women didn’t participate much in the previous election in the same provinc ...

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Sadly, Rights on Paper for the Disabled

By Zarghona Salehi KABUL (Pajhwok): Even government offices have flouted the law on jobs for the disabled, according to an Independent Media Consortium (IMC) investigation. Article 22 of the Law on Rights and Privileges of Persons with Disabilities says 3 percent of jobs in all offices -- whether private or government -- have to go to the disabled. But estimates by the Ministry of Labour, Social affairs, Ma ...

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The Kill List We Don’t Talk About

Osama bin Laden, Al-Zarqawi, Mullah Omar: we know these names because they were on a kill list, a targeted roster the United States uses to pursue and kill people who are a threat to our national security.  But have you heard of Najia Sediqi, Hanifa Safi, or Malalai Kakar? They were on a list we don't talk about, the one that violent extremists use to target people who are a threat to their security.   Sedi ...

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2 More Jawzjan Women Found Dead

  SHIBERGHAN: Two women have allegedly committed suicide in the Mangjik district of northern Jawzjan province, an official said on Sunday. Col. Abdul Malik Mamnoon, crime branch chief, said one woman died after drinking acid, while the cause of the second woman’s death remained unknown. But a brother of the second woman accused her in-laws of killing his sister. Mamnoon said Meera, 25, committed suicid ...

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Tragedy of Afghan child addicts

  By Sohaila Weda Khamosh It is no surprise that tens of thousands of children are exposed to drug use in their homes. But what is worrying is that the use of a glue used by shoemakers and petrol by children is rising alarmingly in Kabul. The Independent Media Consortium (IMC) investigates.* A survey by International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau reveals 7 percent of Afghanistan’s 1.6 mi ...

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Once Again; a Sad Story from Baghlan

Taiba Aimaq Firozuddin is an eight years old girl who was living in Baghlan. Late evening of 6 February 2014, a domestic gas explosion took place in her family’s home. A gas tube next to a burning stove along with ignorance and careless caused the disaster. It took six lives while totally wrecking the Aimaq’s house. The grandmother, aunt, three children and a new born of Taiba’s family lost their lives and ...

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26 Females Freed From Kabul Prison

KABUL - Twenty-six female inmates were released from the Badam Bagh prison of Kabul on Monday, an official said. Jail terms of several others were reduced. Attorney General Office (AGO) representative Aziz Ahmad Sarbaz told a news conference in Kabul the inmates had been freed and granted remission in accordance with the 145th presidential decree. Jail terms of 102 women and children were curtailed. Current ...

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Women Could Play Influential Role in April’s Elections

Kabul- Women make up close to half of the Afghan population, and despite issues in past elections, many of them seem determined to leave their mark on the upcoming presidential and provincial council elections. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) prides itself on the number of female voters it has registered this year, which is said to number around 1.2 million at this point. But that number is less t ...

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The Dark Past and The Uncertain Future for Women

Afghanistan observed the International Women’s Day as the country is bracing for transitioning into a new period which is marred with uncertainty particularly for the women. As previous year, Afghanistan celebrated the Women’s Day through special events and ceremonies. The Day is particularly import for the women of Afghanistan as the Afghan women along with the civil society are struggling to preserve the ...

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Karzai Cuts Short Jail Terms of Female Inmates

KABUL - As the world marked International Women’s Day on Saturday, President Hamid Karzai issued a decree reducing jail terms of women and juvenile female prisoners. The Administrative Affairs Department at the Presidential Palace in a statement said the decree awarded one year concession in jail terms to woman prisoners, who had been sentenced to more than five years in jail and six months to those jailed ...

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Women’s Rights in Jeopardy

As the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan is on the decline, there are worrisome signs of a possible rollback of women’s rights in the country after 2014 as violence against the vulnerable segment of the society is already on the rise and policymakers fail to provide sufficient protection for women. The mutilation of Setarah which occurred recently in Herat province once more highlighted the startlin ...

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Protect the Vulnerable Segments of Society

After more than twelve years of internationally-backed efforts for improving human rights, the situation of vulnerable parts of the society including women, children, religious minorities and other underprivileged parts of the society remain distressing. As the international coalition is withdrawing from Afghanistan, there are increasing reports of the violation of human rights and deteriorating situation o ...

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Most Jirga Committees Want Deal inked in 6 Weeks

KABUL - The consultative Loya Jirga on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States entered its final day on Sunday, when almost all 50 committee heads recommended the pact should be signed withing six weeks. Najiba Hussaini, the committee number 3 chairperson, called for signing the agreement, shaping a US military presence in post-2014 Afghanistan, called for signing the deal before the 2 ...

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