Never out of the news: violence against women
Pick up a newspaper any day of the week and youll likely find at least one story about violence against women. Sad but true, and today there are some startling examples.
In the Independent, Kim Sengupta reveals that of five prominent women he interviewed three years ago for an article on post-Taliban female emancipation, three are dead and a fourth has had to flee after narrowly escaping assassination.
One of those killed was Malalai Kakar, the most prominent policewoman in Afghanistan, who was gunned down by the Taliban this week. Not only has her murder raised the fears of other women in public life, the piece argues, but it has also robbed Afghanistan of a brave and dedicated champion of oppressed women.
Its both shocking and desparately sad, as is BBC News onlines account of the rape of a Catholic nun in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, allegedly by a member of a Hindu mob. The rape apparently took place more than a month ago but police are said to have only begun their investigation yesterday, arguing that they were unable to take action earlier as they were busy trying to deal with the Hindu-Christian violence that has seen more than 30 people killed in recent weeks.
Four people have now been arrested. And at least one police officer has been suspended.
If all of this makes you feel angry and powerless, theres one simple thing you can do to help try and stop violence against women. Sign the petition on our protectthehuman.com website demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iran. Unbelievable but true: evidence given by a woman in an Iranian court is considered only worth half that given by a man and a girl under the age of 13 can be forced to marry a much older man if her father permits it.
Well be promoting this action at tomorrow evenings spectacular Secret Policemans Ball comedy event. Feels funny to start talking about comedy after all Ive just written but if you need cheering up, theres lots more about the Ball on protectthehuman.com and you can watch the show on Channel 4 at 9pm on Sunday.
Be seeing you.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.