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Traumatic Night Raids Haunt Afghan Women

Siam Zamir News

Counter-terror tactic seen as an unacceptable violation of privacy with long-term consequences. At 11pm on the night of April 3, 2016, Bibi Sahra was woken by a group of armed soldiers storming into her family home. The 37-year-old, from the village of Qala Taqai in Baraki Barak district, recounted how the door of the bedroom was kicked in and half-a-dozen ...
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Afghans Angry Over Fake Medicine

Siam Zamir News

Trade in out-of-date or counterfeit medication is booming in country’s east. For the last year Ziaullah, a resident of Jalalabad city in the eastern province of Nangarhar, has been regularly taking the medicine his doctor prescribed to treat his kidney stones. But his agonising condition had not improved for one simple reason, he told IWPR. It was virtually impossible to ...
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Child Malnutrition Mounts in Afghan Province

Siam Zamir News

Increased fighting and an ongoing economic downturn are leaving many at risk of serious health problems. Rising numbers of children in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar are suffering from malnutrition, according to local health officials, with more than 36,000 in need of assistance. Ahmadullah Faizi, head of public nutrition at Kandahar’s department of public health, told IWPR that their ...
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Afghanistan: Women Seek Refuge in Safe Houses

Siam Zamir News

The whole concept of such shelters remains controversial in this deeply conservative country. The beatings began soon after Zahra, now 22, was married off to a 75-year old man in exchange for a large bride price. “My father was blinded by money and he gave me in marriage to this man,” she told IWPR. “Every time my husband was violent ...
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Afghanistan: The Female Engineers Rebuilding History

Siam Zamir News

Groundbreaking project showcases women’s achievements in a male-dominated industry. The ruins of Kabul’s once grand Darulaman Palace, devastated by decades of war, have long been an iconic sight in the capital. An ambitious Afghan-led 16 million US dollar reconstruction project agreed in May 2016 aims to both restore the palace built by King Amanullah Khan in the 1920s and turn ...
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Afghanistan's Silent Killer

Siam Zamir News

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death for Afghan women, but there is little public awareness of the disease. In a dark, narrow hallway at the Herat breast cancer treatment centre, women with anxious faces wait for their diagnose. Nafas Gul (not her real name), a woman in her forties, said that she had been in pain ...
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Afghanistan: Female Detainees Face Sexual Abuse

Siam Zamir News

Prisoners say they are harassed by police officers and justice officials alike. Zahra (not her real name) is in Kabul Badam-Bagh women’s prison, six years into a 15-year prison sentence - the maximum punishment for adultery under Afghan law. The mother-of four said that she had run away with another man after her husband beat and mistreated her. One night ...

Afghan Women Denied Identity Cards

Siam Zamir News

Without officials papers it’s impossible to vote, travel or get medical care. A full 70 per cent of women in the eastern province of Nangarhar do not hold Afghan identity cards and thus are denied access to a wide range of services, IWPR has discovered. The documents, known as tazkira, are vital to access basic facilities from medical care, education ...
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New Afghan Law Targets Sexual Harassment

Siam Zamir News

Leeda stood waiting at a Kabul bus stop, braced for a daily commute that she said inevitably involved sexual comments and snide remarks from male passers-by. The young woman said she knew about recent legislation that would make such harassment a crime under Afghan law for the first time. However, she did not have high hopes for it. Making laws ...
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School Closures Hit Afghan Province

Siam Zamir News

Civil society activists are warning that the state school system in the southern province of Kandahar is in chaos, with some 50,000 children completely deprived of access to education. Mohibulah Qadiri, director of Kandahar’s education department, told IWPR, “Kandahar has 573 schools and 420 of these schools are currently active. But the remaining 153 are not functioning.” Kandahar, which shares ...