Nadia Anjuman, a 25-year-old poet who was gaining recognition after publishing her first book of poetry, was beaten to death last Tuesday in the western Afghan city of Herat. Anjuman’s husband, Farid Ahmad Majid Mia, was arrested and has admitted to hitting her, according to the New York Times. This tragedy is a brutal example of the tenuous conditions for Afghan women who continue to be the victims of violence as they struggle to regain their freedoms following decades of war and gender apartheid under the Taliban regime. United Nations (UN) spokesperson Adrian Edwards said of Anjuman’s death, “Domestic violence is a concern. This case illustrates how bad this problem is here.”
In July, Yakin Ertuk, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights on Violence Against Women, urged the Afghan government and the international community to make eradication of violence against women a priority. In a news briefing following her visit to Afghanistan, Erturk reported that “[v]iolence against women remains dramatic in Afghanistan in its intensity and pervasiveness in public and private spheres of life…action must be taken now to protect women, to save lives.”
Anjuman, who was a student at Herat University, was popular in Afghanistan and Iran, according to BBC News. The Associated Press reported that thousands attended her funeral Sunday.