Anisa, A 10th Grader In Afghanistan, Murdered For Attending School

Anisa, a young Afghani Afghan woman who had just completed the 10th grade, was murdered outside her home on Sunday, hit by six or seven bullets in her stomach. She had already survived a previous assassination attempt one day prior — likely for being a young woman who dared to make a life for herself.

Anisa volunteered at a polio vaccine clinic run by the Ministry for Public Health and attended a school for girls. One news report said Anisa was in her early 20s, while another said she was 16 years old.  In any case, the UK Guardian claimed she received a phone call threatening her life if she left her home on the day she died. (A Taliban spokesperson denied involvement in the murder, although other sources doubt that is true.)

Anisa’s murder is most likely intended to scare other women and girls from existing in civil society as equals to men: going to school, working, and volunteering. This level of intimidation is another type of violence against women. Another woman from Anisa’s neighborhood told the UK Guardian that she’s received threatening phone calls simply for holding down a job. Bravely, she won’t be cowed.

Anisa’s death is reminiscent of the shooting of Malala, a 14-year-old girl in Pakistan who was shot and injured by the Taliban for being a girls’ education activist. Malala was airlifted to the UK, where she has been recovering since last month.

What a shocking reminder of what we all take for granted.

[Guardian UK]
[UN Dispatch]
[Tolo News]

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