Najia Seddiqi, the head of women's affairs for Laghman province and known women's rights activist, was murdered yesterday on her way to her office. She was getting into a rickshaw when two gunmen on a motorbike shot her. She was traveling with no bodyguards despite multiple requests for protection from authorities, according to her family. As of Tuesday, no one had claimed responsibility for the murder, though an investigation has been launched to determine if political extremists are responsible. Sediqqi's predecessor as the head of women's affairs was murdered five months earlier by a bomb planted in her car as she was traveling.
Despite the fact that women in Afghanistan have reclaimed voting, educational, and employment rights, many fear that new talks between the government and the Taliban could lead to new restrictions. In addition, a report from the United Nations found that violence against women and girls is still mainstream in Afghanistan despite new laws that aim to legally protect women from abuse.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 12/11/12; The Guardian 12/10/12; Washington Post 12/10/12