Soraya Paksat of Voice of Afghan Women holds a knife that was confiscated from a woman who came to visit a young relative in one of the group's shelters. The woman intended to kill the girl for fleeing an abusive father.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
A woman crosses the street in Herat, Afghanistan. Burqa-clad women stand out on the streets in Afghanistan â both because of their bright blue burqas, and because there are far fewer women in public than men.
The gains by Afghan women are seen as one of the country's most important achievements over the past decade. But as the international community draws down its military and aid presence, those hard-won gains are at risk of being lost, according to activists.
Women are still being beaten, raped and forced into early marriage at alarming rates. And women's advocacy groups say they are already seeing signs of backsliding by the government when it comes to protecting women, and fear this could accelerate in the coming years.
Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 2:19 pm
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