Two gunmen killed two girls and wounded six others, including a teacher, outside a girls' school in Logar Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday. The gunmen, who were on a motorbike and have not been identified, attacked the school at midday as students were leaving. Girls' schools in Afghanistan have been under constant threat from extremists who aim to intimidate families from sending their girl children to school, particularly as the Taliban has resurfaced. Although the Taliban has denied responsibility for this incident, they have warned women and children to stay away from schools and remain at home in the past.
"The sight of girls in school is an obvious sign of progress, and there are those who are afraid of such progress," said Catherine Mbengue, a representative of the United Nations Children's Fund in Afghanistan. "This is a heinous, cowardly act against students and a teacher whose only crime was to be in school. By attacking students and the teacher, the perpetrators are attacking children’s right to education and threatening the very fabric of Afghan society."
Afghan Education Minister Hanif Atmar immediately condemned the attack, saying, "Those who carried out this cowardly attack are enemies of the country," the BBC reports.
This shooting follows two other recent murders of Afghan women journalists Shokiba Sanga Amaaj and Zakia Zaki, who was also the headmaster of a girls' school.
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .