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Seven horrific examples of the real 'war on women'

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Beltway Confidential,Education,Foreign Aid,Abortion,Ashe Schow,Terrorism,Analysis,State Department

There is a war on women, but it's not in America. It's taking place every day across the globe where women are denied basic human rights like health care (and not just for abortions), education, and in many locales, even the ability to be seen in public without a male relative present.

Women in such areas — mostly, though not only, in the Middle East — are not simply second-class citizens; they are mere property, to be used, abused and disposed of in whatever manner their owners — fathers, husbands, brothers — choose.

What follows are only a handful of examples of the extreme treatment too often accorded women in other countries.

 

1. Malala Yousufzai, shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting education for women

Malala Yousufzai, a young Pakistan activist who promotes the education of girls, was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in October 2012 while riding a bus home from school. The Taliban took responsibility for the attack and called Malala's activism "obscenity."

Yousufzai survived her horrendous injuries and went on to give a speech at the United Nations.

Yousufzai is also not the only woman to be attacked in Pakistan's Swat Valley. The Taliban has banned education for girls in the region and destroyed hundreds of schools. Despite this violence, teachers still teach and girls, like Malala, still attend.

 

2. Fakhra Younus, attacked with acid after leaving her abusive husband

Fakhra Younus was a former dancing girl who allegedly was attacked with acid in her sleep one night by her ex-husband. Younus left her husband due to physical and verbal abuse. Her husband, who had connections to the Pakistani government, was acquitted for the attack. Younus committed suicide in 2012, more than a decade after the attack.

Younus is far from the only victim of acid attacks. About 200 acid attacks against women occur in Pakistan every year, and at least 9,000 have occurred between 1994 and 2011, but that number is believed to be low due to underreporting.

And Pakistan is not the only place where attacks occur. In India and across Southeast Asia, acid attacks are prevalent.

 

3. Jyoti Singh Pandey, gang raped and murdered

Jyoti Singh Pandey and her male companion were brutally attacked for two-and-a-half hours while traveling to work in Delhi, India. Pandey was gang-raped by at least five men before she and her companion were dumped in the street, then ignored by police. Pandey died as a result of her injuries two weeks after the attack.

As with acid attacks, sexual assault is common in the Middle East. A Syrian Islamic cleric even told rebels in Syria to rape non-Sunni women. During the Arab Spring in Egypt, women in Tahrir Square were regularly victimized, which was highlighted when CNN journalist Lara Logan was attacked while reporting.

 

4. Afghan Senator Roh Gul Khairzad, shot while traveling home

Working women — especially teachers and politicians focused on women's rights — suffer greatly in the Middle East. Afghan Senator Roh Gul Khairzad was ambushed with her husband and eight-year-old daughter while traveling home from Kabul. Khairzad was wounded in the attack and her daughter was killed, as was the family's bodyguard. The Taliban has not taken credit for the attack.

A Taliban spokesman did take credit, however, for another attack on a working Afghan woman in 2009. Sitara Achakzai, a teacher who fought for women's rights, was killed just outside her home in Kandahar.

Twenty-five-year-old Farida Afridi, executive director of the women's rights group Society for Appraisal and Women Empowerment in Rural Areas, was murdered in July 2012 for her work.

A teacher in Pakistan, Shahnaz Nazli, was also killed in March 2013 while on her way to an all-girls school. Zohra Shahid Hussain, a Pakistani politician, was also killed in May 2013.

 

5. Noor Faleh Almaleki, murdered for being too 'westernized'

Noor Almaleki was estranged from her parents for being too "westernized" — wearing tight jeans and makeup and refusing to follow through with her arranged marriage. Almaleki's father ran her over with his Jeep in 2009 while she was walking with a friend. The friend survived but Almaleki did not.

The case was dubbed an "honor killing," a murder by a relative for behavior that is deemed to have insulted the family. It is a common occurrence in Pakistan especially. A 15-year-old girl in Pakistan, known only as Anusha, was murdered by her parents last year just because she looked at a boy.

Over 900 women and girls are killed each year in Pakistan in honor murders, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. "Throughout the year, women were callously killed in the name of 'honor' when they went against family wishes in any way, or even on the basis of suspicion that they did so," the report said. "Women were sometimes killed in the name of 'honor' over property disputes and inheritance rights."

 

6. Amena Jan, poisoned for attending school

Nearly 160 schoolgirls were poisoned in May 2012, Amena Jan among them. "When I entered the class, I smelled something and then I started to vomit and fell unconscious," Jan told Reuters. "I don't remember what happened after that."

This was not the first school poisoning. A week before Jan was poisoned, another 120 girls were poisoned with some sort of spray. Before that, 200 girls in the same province, Kabul, were poisoned by an unknown substance as they entered school. Over 100 girls were poisoned in April 2012 as well.

 

7. Gendercide

No one person can put a face on the practice known as gendercide. This is the practice of aborting a child based on its gender — usually because the baby is a girl. There are an estimated 160 million fewer women because of sex-selective abortion. There are 120 males born for every 100 females in China. The natural balance is 105 boys to 100 girls.

China's "one child" policy is the most well known, but it happens in America as well. Pro-life activists with Live Action caught a Planned Parenthood staffer agreeing to provide an abortion to a woman because the baby was a girl.

A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman then told The Huffington Post that even though the organization condemns sex-selective abortions, it will nevertheless provide "high quality, confidential, nonjudgmental care to all who come into" its abortion clinics.

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