In a heart-rending incident, a 33-year-old Afghan woman was stabbed by three unknown men just after she left her job at a police station in Afghanistan’s central Ghazni province. The incident that had happened in Ghazni, Afghanistan was dangerously shocking and heart-wrenching.
The victim was identified as Khatera who joined the Ghazni police as an officer in its crime branch a few months ago. The last thing Khatera saw were the three men on a motorcycle who attacked her.
Waking up in the hospital, Khatera could not see anything. “I asked the doctors, why I can’t see anything? They told me that my eyes are still bandaged because of the wounds. But at that moment, I knew my eyes had been taken from me,” she said, as reported by news agency Reuters.
She, along with the local authorities has held the Taliban responsible for the attack. However, the Taliban has denied all the allegations and said the assailants acted on a tip-off from her father who vehemently opposed her working outside the home.
“I wish I had served in police at least a year. If this had happened to me after that, it would have been less painful. It happened too soon … I only got to work and live my dream for three months,” she told Reuters.
The attack on Khatera, who only uses one name, is indicative of a growing trend, human rights activists say, of an intense and often violent backlash against women taking jobs, especially in public roles. In Khatera’s case, being a police officer could have also angered the Taliban.
The rights activists believe a mix of Afghanistan’s conservative social norms and an emboldened Taliban gaining influence while the United States withdraws its troops from the country is driving the escalation.
The Taliban are currently negotiating in Doha, Qatar, with the Afghan government to broker a peace deal in which many expect them to formally return to power, but progress is slow and there has been an uptick in fighting and attacks on officials and prominent women around the country.
“Though the situation for Afghan women in public roles has always been perilous, the recent spike in violence across the country has made matters even worse,” said Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan campaigner. “The great strides made on women’s rights in Afghanistan over more than a decade must not become a casualty of any peace deal with the Taliban.”