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Last Updated: Monday, 30 May, 2005, 05:52 GMT 06:52 UK
Afghan women 'still suffer abuse'
Afghan women in burqas
Little has changed since the days of the Taleban
Women all over Afghanistan are still being murdered, raped and imprisoned with impunity, the human rights group Amnesty International has said.

It says entrenched feudal customs mean Afghan men often treat women as chattels and abuse them without any official retribution.

"Throughout the country, few women are exempt from violence or safe from the threat of it," the report says.

Amnesty International based its report on interviews done across the country.


It calls on the Afghan government to start a process of education to change the treatment of women.

In the report Afghanistan: Women Under Attack, Amnesty says hundreds of women continue to suffer abuse in Afghanistan despite the overthrow of the Taleban regime more than three years ago.

A lot of women told us they had hoped things would change rapidly for the better after the overthrow of the Taleban
Nazia Hussein
Amnesty International

"Societal codes, invoked in the name of tradition and religion, are used as justification for denying women the ability to enjoy their fundamental rights.

"Perceived transgressions or such codes have led to the imprisonment and even killing of some women," the report says.

No improvement

The report's author, Nazia Hussein, who travelled all over the country conducting interviews, told Reuters there was a deep sense of disappointment that matters had not improved since the removal of the Taleban.

"A lot of women told us they had hoped things would change rapidly for the better after the overthrow of the Taleban, so there is a sense of disappointment," she said.

A spokeswoman for the Afghan women's affairs ministry said improvements had been made for women in the cities, where the government's authority was strongest, but she said there had been few advances in rural areas.

"In some remote areas, men deal with women like animals," the Associated Press quoted the spokeswoman, Nooria Haqnagar, as saying.

"We are trying our best to find solutions to these problems," she said.

Women were forbidden from education and work under the Taleban regime.

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