An 18-year-old Afghan woman was murdered in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as she left work Tuesday. The woman, whose first name was Hossai, worked at Development Alternatives, Inc., a United States-based development consulting company. Though the Taliban have not taken responsibility for her death, the Associated Press reports that Taliban extremists particularly target women who work for foreign organizations or attend school in Kandahar.
The current violence comes at the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Sitara Achakzai, a Kandahar provincial council member and women’s rights activist, who was murdered by gunmen outside her home. Taliban claimed responsibility for Achakzai’s death.
In Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, violence against schools that educate girls has also been part of campaigns against the education of women. In Pakistan’s Swat Valley, more than 130 primarily all-girl schools have been destroyed, allegedly by the Taliban. In total, hundreds of schools have been destroyed in Pakistan’s northwest region over the past several years. During the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which lasted until 2001, Afghan girls were forbidden to attend school. To date, more than 1,000 girls’ or co-educational schools have been bombed or burned in Afghanistan.