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    309 women fled homes in 9 months: AIHCR

    KABUL (PAN):  As many as 309 cases of women and girls fleeing their houses have been registered with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in last nine months of the Afghan year, an official said on Tuesday.

    During the same period last year, 219 cases were registered, showing a 41 percent increase, Latifa Sultani, the women's rights programme coordinator, told a news conference.

    She attributed the increasing incidents of fleeing homes by women to violence, forced marriage, family disputes and others.

    Most of the cases took place in Kabul, Herat and northern Balkh provinces, another AIHRC official, Mariam Zurmati, said.

    Bin Afsha, 25, said her mother and a sister fled home and took refuge at a safe house in Kabul as her brother would use to beat them on the behest of his wife.

    Satisfied with facilities provided by the AIHRC to her mother and sister, Bin Afsha said despite repeated contacts with her brother by human rights officials, he did not come to the AIHRC office.

    Officials at the Ministry of Women's affairs could not be reached for their comments on the issue.

    A recent AIHRC report said 39,000 cases of violence against women were registered in Afghanistan over the past nine years. More than 13,000 of the cases included beating by their husbands or other family members, the report had said.

    Other cases of violence included forced marriage, early marriage, sexual abuses, runaways, stopping girls from attending schools and others.

    frm/ma



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