What about our girls, ask Afghans

KABUL - The global attention bestowed on a Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taleban has sparked outcry amongst many Afghans dismayed by what they say is the unequal response to the plight of their women and children.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Tue 23 Oct 2012, 8:29 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:23 PM

Malala Yousufzai, shot by Taleban gunmen for advocating girls’ education, was flown from Pakistan to Britain to receive treatment after the attack this month which drew widespread condemnation and an international outpouring of support .

“Every day an Afghan girl is abused, raped, has acid thrown on her face and mutilated. Yet no one remembers or acknowledges these girls,” Elay Ershad, who represents the nomadic Kuchi people in Afghan parliament, said.

Echoing concerns of other prominent Afghan women, Ershad said the government took no real interest in women’s rights, instead using the issue for political gain and currying favour with Western backers, a claim Kabul has dismissed as untrue.

President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly condemned Malal’s shooting, even using it to address women’s rights in his country: “The people of Afghanistan ... see this attempt not only against (Yousufzai) but also against all Afghan girls,” he said.

“If the president does not care about Afghan women in general, why does he suddenly care about Malala?” Ershad asked. “No one (here) ever seeks justice once the television cameras are turned off.”

Karzai has told President Asif Ali Zardari the attack was proof the two needed to tackle a common enemy, a move widely seen as an attempt to soothe ties between the neighbours.

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