90 Percent of Afghan Women Are Victims of Abuse

Pop in your mouth guard before you read this post, if you’re a tooth grinder. The good news first: According to the Washington Post, more women’s shelters have been opening in Afghanistan since 2001, when the Taliban was officially overthrown. A ministry of women’s affairs is now supposedly overseeing women’s constitutionally guaranteed protection against abuse. But still, about 90 percent of Afghan women are abused. Several women and children, hiding from domestic violence at home, were recently interviewed by CNN at the Women for Afghan Women shelter. One woman escaped with her two children to the shelter, after years of living with her wrists and ankles chained and her hair tied to a wall when she wasn’t doing housework. Another woman showed the stitches in a slash on her neck—stab wounds that she endured, apparently, for not getting pregnant. A child told her own story about being raped at the age of five; she fears that her rapist will kill her when he is released from prison in three years. Women for Afghan Women director, Manizha Naderi, risks her life to take women and children like this in. Most of the men that these women have fled from are angry. They have grown up in a culture that is accustomed to “punishing” such “bad” women without repercussions. Given that these women’s stories are only a sampling of the treatment received by, I repeat, 90 percent of the population, an equally shocking statistic is that there are only about a dozen women’s shelters like Naderi’s in Afghanistan. This is much worse than I ever suspected — it’s truly chilling. [CNN via Tress Sugar]