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65% of widows in Kabul see suicide the only option...

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    ...  ... Begin forwarded message: From: rawa-ml@rawa.org Date: 18 August 2006 11:03:10 PM To: king@math.auckland.ac.nz Subject: 65% of widows in Kabul see
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 18, 2006


      Begin forwarded message:

      Date: 18 August 2006 11:03:10 PM
      Subject: 65% of widows in Kabul see suicide the only option...

      Pajhwok Afghan News, Aug. 14, 2006

      Suicide an option for desperate war-widows

      UNIFEM Survey revealed: "65 per cent of the 50,000 widows in Kabul see suicide the only option to get rid of their miseries and desolation."

      Lailuma Sadid

      KABUL, Aug 14 (Pajhwok Afghan News): Dog-tired and fed up with the hardships they have been facing over the years, 65 per cent of the 50,000 widows in Kabul see suicide the only option to get rid of their miseries and desolation, revealed a survey conducted by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).



      "The latest research by the underground women's rights organisation the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) reveals that as many as 25,000 Afghan women worked as prostitutes in 2001 - 5,000 of those were in Kabul alone - with stark predictions that the number will rise as women and girls resort to selling themselves to escape poverty."

      South China Morning Post, April 9, 2006

      Addressing a news conference, UNIFEM's Director Meryem Aslan described condition of widows, especially those living in Kabul, as terrible. She said widows living in Kabul have to look after their families in face of little opportunities of earning livelihood and high rate of inflation. Without elaborating on the topic, she said 16 of the 65 per cent women had already ended their lives.

      Highlighting the social structure, the UNIFEM director said family and gender discrimination and violence against women was common in most parts of Afghanistan. She said as men were the decision-makers in family structure, they were to be blamed for the gender discrimination and violence.

      She said besides violence by their male partners, women were also facing physical and mental torture by their fellow women. But such cased were not as much to be reckoned, she added.

      Regarding the report being prepared by the UNIFEM in collaboration with other governmental and non-governmental rights agencies, she said the survey was launched in 2004 and ended in May this year. The report revealed that majority of Afghan women are victims of mental and sexual violence.

      Calling it a bitter fact, Meryem said average life span of Afghan women was 20 years less than women living in other parts of the world. She said child and mother mortality rate was still very high as 1,600 to 1,900 women among each 100,000 die during childbirth.

      At the same time, she appreciated the improvement in women's life emerged over the past five years in terms of their participation in public life. Participation of 27 per cent women in the parliament is encouraging for the women, she noted.









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