In another absurd episode, a 33-year-old woman in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province has been shot at and stabbed in the eyes for working. The attack comes, allegedly from Taliban, amid a spate of attacks against women and students in the country in recent months.
Khatera, who goes by a single name, had been a police officer in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan. She had been serving her locality for three months until the unfortunate incident took place, leaving her blind.
The local authorities and Khatera herself have claimed the Taliban were responsible for the attack. According to the victim, Khatera, the attack was was carried out by three men riding on a motorbike.
However, Taliban has declined any responsibility of the attack. A Taliban spokesman denied the group’s involvement in the assault, adding that it was a family issue. Besides Taliban, Khatera’s father is also a prime suspect in the assault. According to Khatera, her father reportedly disapproved of her taking a job. Khatera’s father was taken immediately into Police custody following the assault, police said.
“Many times, as I went to duty, I saw my father following me…he started contacting the Taliban in the nearby area and asked them to prevent me from going to my job,” she told Reuters.
She further added that her father had given a copy of her ID card to local members of the Taliban. She also mentioned that, on the day of the attack, he had contacted her numerous times asking for her location.
The news agency was unable to reach Khatera’s father for comment.
Khatera and some of her relations now live in hiding in Kabul and are not in contact with their extended family, who blame her for her father’s arrest. She hopes that one day, with the help of foreign doctors, her eyesight could return.
“If it is possible, I get back my eyesight, I will resume my job and serve in the police again,” Khatera said.
Afghanistan, a country which was named “the most dangerous country” to be a woman in 2011, has seen an alarming rise in violence against women. In the last few months, a series of high-profile women have been targeted, including Fawzia Koofi, a politician who is part of the government’s negotiations with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, and Saba Sahar, one of the country’s first female film directors. Both women survived the assassination attempts in August.
The recent attack on Kabul University also left as many 32 people and wounding 50, most of them women and children.
Speaking about the rising number of gender-based attacks, Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International‘s Afghanistan campaigner, said: “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.
“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.”