The Straits Times
Published on Dec 11, 2012

Afghan women suffer despite progress on rights: UN


KABUL (AFP) - Afghanistan has made some progress in using the law to protect women against violence but many still suffer horrific abuse at the hands of men, a UN report showed on Tuesday.

The assessment, which comes a day after a senior women's rights official was shot dead, opens with the tragic death of a 15-year-old girl who set herself on fire this year after repeated beatings by her new husband and his father.

When she reported her case to prosecutors she was told to withdraw the complaint or face being jailed.

In a reflection of the desperate situation of many women in the patriarchal and war-ravaged Islamic country, the report described a sharp increase in the number of reported cases of violence against women as "an encouraging development".