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11/09/2005 Entry: "UN condemns sexist killing of Afghan poet"

"Afghan poet Nadia Anjuman has been beaten to death and her husband and mother have been arrested.

"The United Nations condemned the killing Tuesday as a symptom of continuing violence against Afghan women four years after the fall of the Taliban.

"It is common for women to be beaten by their fathers, brothers or husbands and 'honour' killings in which women are murdered to save the family from disgrace are still accepted in Afghanistan.

"Anjuman, 25, was widely praised for her first book of poems, titled Gule Dudi, or Dark Flower. She had a large following among students in Afghanistan and neighbouring Iran.

"She died Friday in a hospital in the western city of Herat where she lived. She had been studying at university.

"Her husband has confessed to slapping her after an argument, said Nisar Ahmad Paikar, chief of the city's police crime unit. Her mother has also been arrested, but no charges were immediately filed.

"'This is a tragic loss for Afghanistan,' UN spokesman Adrian Edwards told the Associated Press. 'Domestic violence is a concern. This case illustrates how bad this problem is here and how it manifests itself. Women face exceptional challenges.'

"Before U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban from power, the regime barred women from working and girls from studying. Women were unable to travel without a male relative accompanying them and if they were caught outside without wearing an all-encompassing burqa, they were often beaten.

"President Hamid Karzai's U.S.-backed government has created a new constitution that guarantees gender equality. But old attitudes still prevail in rural areas and within families.

"Thousands of people attended Anjuman's burial in Herat on Sunday. 'Students everywhere are so upset over this. She was such a prominent poet in Afghanistan," said Homayan Ludin, a student at Kabul University.'"
UN condemns sexist killing of Afghan poet, CBC, November 8, 2005 (via Booksquare)

Posted by Ginger Mayerson

 

 

 

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