Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse Of Women

Honor Killings

 

The horrors of honor killings continues.  Late last year a seventeen year old Pakistan girl miraculously cheated death.  Her attacker was her own brother.  Gul Meena life of misery began at the age of twelve when she was married off to a man old enough to be her grandfather.

She says, “My husband was sixty.  Everyday he would beat me.  I would cry and beg him to stop, but he kept on beating me.”  Her family was not very supportive.  “My family would hit me when I complain,” she said.  “They told me you belong in your husband’s house, it is your life.

After five years of abusive Gul Meena met a young Afghan man and finally found the courage to leave her abusive husband in Pakistan.  In November 2012 she packed some of her things and they made their was across the border to the city of Jalalabad in Afghanistan.  She knew what she was doing was dangerous.  Running away from her husband with another man was committing the ultimate sin.   But she was tired of the life she was living.

“I tried to kill myself with poison several times but it didn’t work,” she said.  “I hated my life.  I had to escape.

Days later her older brother tracked them down.  Using an ax he hacked to death Gul Meena’s friend and then struck her fifteen times cutting open her face head and other parts of her body.  Believing that she was dead he escaped back to Pakistan.  The authorities are yet to catch him and his family denies that he tried to kill his sister.

Passersby hearing the commotion discovered Gul lying in a pool of blood in bed and rushed her to the Emergency Department of Nangarhar Regional Medical Centre.  Part of her brain was hanging out of her skull.  Neurosurgeon Zamiruddin Khalid held out little hope that she would survive.  She had lost a lot of blood and her injuries were horrific.  But by some act of God she defeated death and survived.

Even then her troubles were not over; she had received life-saving treatment from doctors and staff at the hospital but she had no one to care for her on the outside.  Gul had been disowned by her family and despite the government and authorities knowing that she was alive and receiving care at the hospital, they wanted nothing to do with her due to the stigma and circumstances surrounding her attack.

She stayed in the hospital for two months thanks to the generosity of doctors who donated money to pay for her medicine.  Finally the organization Women for Afghan women were informed of her situation. They took her in, transporting her back to a shelter in Kabul to give her the love and care she so badly needed.

Gul Meena is one of the thousands of women living in shelters across Afghanistan.  Many of them are victims of attempted honor killings.

Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse of Women

Child Brides in Afghanistan

I don’t know how many of you might have heard the story of Sahar  Gul, a young Afghanistan girl.  She was forced into marriage at a young age of thirteen in 2011.  Sahar Gul who was unwilling to sleep with her husband was drugged by her mother-in-law and later raped by her husband.  She was thrown into a basement and tortured for months at the hand of her in-laws after refusing to prostitute herself.
Sahar was given very little to eat and was tortured with hot pokers.  Her in-laws reportedly broke her fingers and tore out some of her fingernails.  She was beaten with sticks, bitten and hot irons were inserted in her ears and vagina.
She was rescued when her uncle alerted the local police who forced open the door to the room where she was kept for over five months.  She was found lying on a pile of hay; her dress was in rags, she was barely conscious and could hardly stand.  She was taken to hospital for treatment.
Her mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law were arrested.  In 2012 all three were sentenced to ten years in prison.  Sahar feels they should have received longer sentences.  She has filed an appeal for a longer sentence with the help of the Women for Afghan Women, a group that works with women’s rights in the country and has been caring for her since her rescue.
Her husband, a soldier in the Afghan National Army is still on the run.
News and Views

A Season of Joy or a Season of Mourning?

This should be a season of goodwill.  Joy to the world, peace to men on earth, but the season is anything but joyful or peaceful.  While the people of Newton Connecticut are still trying to come to terms with the shooting deaths of twenty children and seven adults, in other parts of the world the senseless killings continues.

In Pakistan six health workers on a polio eradication campaign were shot dead.  Polio is an infectious disease which can cause permanent paralysis in a matter of hours.  There is the need for safe and effective vaccines to protect children from the disease which according to the WHO, is currently endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Four female health workers were reportedly shot dead in Karachi on Tuesday.  Two were killed after administering vaccination to children.  Two other women were shot while going from house to house giving vaccination in Peshawar.  Police official Javed Khan said the gunmen opened fire on the women as they left a house where they had vaccinated children.