Afghan woman killed for bearing a daughter

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 5:47:22 by

An Afghan woman has been strangled to death, apparently by her husband, who was upset that she gave birth to a second daughter rather than the son he wanted, police said Monday. It was the latest in a series of grisly examples
of subjugation of women that have made headlines in Afghanistan in the past few months — including a 15-year-old tortured and forced into prostitution by in-laws and a female rape victim who was imprisoned for adultery.

The episodes have raised the question of what will happen to the push for women’s rights in Afghanistan as the international presence here shrinks along with the military drawdown. NATO forces are scheduled to pull out by the end
of 2014.

In the 10 years since the ouster of the Taliban, great strides have been made for women in Afghanistan, with many attending school, working in offices and even sometimes marching in protests. But abuse and repression of women are
still common, particularly in rural areas where women are still unlikely to set foot outside of the house without a burqa robe that covers them from head to toe.

The man in the latest case, Sher Mohammad, fled the Khanabad district in Kunduz province last week, about the time a neighbor found his 22-year-old wife dead in their house, said District Police Chief Sufi Habibullah. Medical examiners
whom police brought to check the body said she had been strangled, Habibullah said.

The woman, named Estorai, had warned family members that her husband had repeatedly reproached her for giving birth to a daughter rather than a son and had threatened to kill her if it happened again, said Provincial women’s affairs
chief Nadira Ghya, who traveled to Khanabad to deal with the case. Estorai gave birth to her second daughter between two and three months ago, Ghya said. Officials did not have a family name for either Sher Mohammad or Estorai.

Police took the man’s mother into custody because she appears to have collaborated in a plot to kill her daughter-in-law, Habibullah said. Ghya, who visited the man’s mother in jail, said that she swears that Estorai committed
suicide by hanging. Police said they found no rope and no evidence of hanging from the woman’s wounds.

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