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15-year-old Afghanistan girl beheaded for turning down marriage proposal

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 29th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A 15-year-old Afghanistan girl was beheaded for turning down a marriage proposal. The girl was reportedly decapitated by a knife while she tried to gather water near her village. Two men have been arrested in connection with the incident.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The victim, only identified as Gisa, was murdered in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province earlier this week. Two men, named as Sadeq and Massoud, are now in custody in connection with the killing. The men are understood to be close relatives of the victim.

Her father told reporters that he had not wanted his daughter to get married as she was far too young.

Extreme violence against women remains rife, even with the Taliban being ousted in 2001.

The Elimination of Violence Against Woman law in 2009 was introduced in Afghanistan, criminalizing child marriage, forced marriage, "giving away" a girl or woman to settle a dispute, among other acts of violence against the female population of the ultra-conservative Islamic nation.

The United Nations says that there is still a "long way to go" before the rights of Afghan women are fully protected. Comprehensive official statistics on the number of incidents of violence against women in the country are difficult to establish, with the majority of cases going unreported. Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission registered over 2,000 acts of violence against women last year.

The NATO-led International Security and Assistance Force has given high priority to re-establishing women's rights that were eradicated under the Taliban as part of its efforts to create a security strategy for Afghanistan.

With international troops scheduled to pull out of the country at the end of 2014, activists have warned that the outlook for the female population remains bleak.

Human Rights Watch has said women's rights are increasingly at risk in the run up to the scheduled draw-down of NATO forces. Early and forced marriage, impunity for violence against women and a lack of access of justice are just a few challenges the female population still faces.

So-called honor killings remain relatively commonplace in the war-torn Islamic nation. This past summer saw a spate of so-called honor killings in Afghanistan.

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