Afghan Woman Killed for Giving Birth to Girl

Liz De La Torre

The fight for women’s rights has been a long struggle in the Middle East, and it continues. A twenty-two year old woman in Afghanistan identified as Estorai was allegedly strangled to death by her husband, Sher Mohammad, for giving birth to yet another girl at least two months ago.

In a culture where boys are more valued than girls, Mohammad was upset over the fact that she did not bear him a son. In fact, the family of the victim claims that he had threatened her multiple times after giving birth to their first daughter. Moreover, Mohammad’s mother was detained after suspicion surrounding her involvement in an apparent plot to kill Estorai. Still, the mother-in-law is very insistent on claiming that Estorai hanged herself.

To date, there is no evidence that Estorai committed suicide, but her body indicates that she was tortured; medical examiners have already confirmed that she was strangled. Mohammad, a local militiaman, has already fled the Khanabad district of the Kunduz providence. Kunduz police chief Sufi Habib called Mohammad’s apprehension challenging as his armed comrades are most likely keeping him in hiding: “The existence of militiamen is a huge problem and therefore we face difficulty in arresting him.”

This is not the first time that the oppression of Afghan women has incited newsworthy uproar with the justice system coming under fire. Such notable cases include the fifteen-year old girl whose own in-laws tortured and coerced her into prostitution and the female rape victim who was imprisoned for adultery. Encouragingly, the U.S. Embassy emphasized women’s rights on a level of equal significance to other problems that have plagued the world: “The rights of women cannot be relegated to the margins of international affairs, as this issue is at the core of our national security and the security of people everywhere.”