Two back-to-back incidents of violence against women in Afghanistan have again highlighted the issue of gender violence and the plight of women in the country. Despite the country having introduced strict laws to prevent atrocities against women, brutalities continue to take place.
In the first incident, a six-month pregnant woman was brutally beaten and her genitals mutilated by her husband leading to a miscarriage. And in the second, a woman was killed by her in-laws over suspicion that she had an extra-marital affair.
Both the victims were reportedly in their 20s and pregnant. The first incident took place in Takhar province in northeast Afghanistan, while the second case happened in northern Faryab province within 24 hours of the first one. Similar horrifying incidents of violence against Afghan women have cropped up in the past also. There have been reports of early marriages and cruelty against these young brides at the hands of in-laws and husband. A woman whose husband chopped off her nose gathered much international attention in January after her pictures went viral.
In the latest attack in Takhar, the man allegedly attacked his wife all of a sudden and shredded her hair with a scissor and shaved parts of her head. He also cut parts of her genitals and brutally beat her up with a wooden stick. The woman alleged that her mother-in-law and her sister-in-law helped her husband in the assault. The woman is now in a critical condition in a hospital in Kunduz, a city in northern Afghanistan. She told BBC that she has no clue why her husband assaulted her so badly. Her brother confirmed to the broadcaster about the mutilation and assault.
Noor Muhammad Hakimi, the police commander of Takhar, said they have booked a case against three people, including the husband, who is on the run.
One of the accused in the Faryab incident is also reportedly on the run. Faryab police spokesman Karim Yourush said the victim's father-in-law has disappeared following the incident. The victim was shot dead by her in-laws after local clerics handed her over to the family following allegations of extra-marital affair. One elderly person from the tribe told BBC Afghan that he had warned the clerics that the woman could be killed, yet they let the family take her along.