Prominent Afghan female official shot dead

JALALABAD, Afghanistan Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:48pm IST

Related Topics

Polluted waters of China

Polluted waters of China

Growing cities, overuse of fertilizers, and factory wastewater have degraded China's water supplies to the extent that half the nation's rivers and lakes are severely polluted.  Slideshow 

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Unknown gunmen shot dead a senior female government worker on Monday, officials in eastern Afghanistan said, five months after her predecessor was killed in a bomb attack.

Violence against women appears to be on the rise in Afghanistan, which activists and some lawmakers blame on what they say is waning interest in women's rights on the part of President Hamid Karzai's government, claims he denies.

Nadia Sediqqi, acting head of the women's affairs department in Laghman province, was killed as she headed to work in the capital Mehtar Lam, said the provincial governor's spokesman Sarhadi Zwak.

"They shot her as she was getting into a rickshaw," Zwak said of the attack about 150 km (93 miles) east of Kabul, adding that she worked without bodyguards -- a common situation for female government workers.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Afghan women have won back basic rights in education, voting and employment since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001, but fears are mounting that such freedoms could be traded away as Kabul seeks peace talks with the group.

Sediqqi had replaced Hanifa Safi, who was killed in July by a car bomb that her family blamed on the Taliban.

Women who pursue careers in ultra-conservative Afghanistan often face opposition in a society where often they are ostracised, or worse, for mixing with men other than husbands or relatives.

Safi's son later told Reuters that authorities had ignored repeated requests for protection, echoing greater concerns that the safety of female government workers is not taken seriously by Kabul, despite commitments to better the rights of women 11 years into the NATO-led war. (Reporting by Rafiq Shirzad, writing by Amie Ferris-Rotman, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Top News

TOP SHOWCASE

Kerry's Visit

Kerry's Visit

Kerry presses India on WTO deal ahead of arrival.  Full Article 

Chopper Deal

Chopper Deal

CBI to press ahead with Finmeccanica helicopter probe - spokeswoman.  Full Article 

Gaza Violence

Gaza Violence

At least 43 Palestinians killed as Israel maintains pressure on Gaza.  Full Article 

Graft Crackdown

Graft Crackdown

Exclusive" China's Xi reached deal with former leaders to investigate ex-security chief - sources.  Full Article 

Selfie Phone

Selfie Phone

Microsoft gives employees sneak peek at new 'selfie' phone.  Full Article 

US-Russia Faceoff

US-Russia Faceoff

Obama says strains over Ukraine not leading to new Cold War with Russia.  Full Article 

Test Match

Test Match

Anderson and Broad leave India in trouble.  Full Article 

E-commerce

E-commerce

Amazon says to invest $2 billion more in India.  Full Article 

Auto Market

Auto Market

VW closes in on Toyota as global auto leader.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage