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Afghan woman shot, stabbed in eyes for taking up a job

BusinessToday.In     November 11, 2020

In a shocking incident from Afghanistan's Ghazni province, a 33 year-old woman has been shot and stabbed with a knife in the eyes for doing a job. She was attacked by three men on a motorbike near the Ghazni police station.

Khatera is an officer at Ghazni police station for three months. When she woke up in the hospital, she quizzed the doctors on why everything felt pitch dark. The doctors told her that her eyes were bandaged due to the wounds but she knew at that moment that her eyes were "taken away".

She and the local authorities have pinned the blame on  the Taliban. Khatera alleged that the attackers acted on a cue from her father, who strongly opposed her working outside the home. Taliban, however, has denied any involvement in this attack.

For the 33 year-old, this attack did not only amount to the loss of eyesight but also a sudden end to the childhood dreams and ambitions of having an independent career. Khatera, who goes by one name, was quoted by Reuters as saying, "I wish I had served in police for at least a year, if this had happened to me after that, it would have been less painful. It happened too soon... I only got to work and live my dream for three months."

Khatera says that if feasible, she will get her eyesight back and resume her job in the police. The 33 year-old added that she needed a regular income to avoid destitution. This is one in a spate of unabated attacks on women taking up jobs outside homes, especially in public roles. In Khatera's case, being a police officer could have angered the Taliban, according to human rights activists.

Many high-profile women like the filmmaker Saba Saher and Fawzia Koofi, a politician who is working with the government in the negotiations with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar to help broker a peace deal have also been attacked. Both Saba and Fawzia have survived assassination attempts in August.

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