US slams woman’s decapitation in Herat
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told her daily news conference that the US was looking into reports of a young woman beheaded in Herat province because she refused to become a prostitute for her in-laws.
“We are looking into this incident. We don’t have any independent information besides what we’ve seen in news reports. Obviously, we condemn violence against women wherever it happens, including in Afghanistan,” she said.
For the past decade, the US and the international community have worked intensively with the government of Afghanistan to advance the rights of women and rights not only in the constitution, but also in education programmes.
The US also supported the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan, paving the way for creating shelters, referral centers, transit houses for those under threat, or have suffered abuse.
“We are continuing to work on that. We also think these shelters play a vital role in the implementation of Afghanistan’s own 2009 law to eliminate violence against women. But again, we have extensive programme,” Nuland added.
She went on to explain the US was training prosecutors who specialised in trying cases of violence against women. They were also working to help women incarcerated falsely or on charges brought under inappropriate circumstances, she said.
Nuland continued her country was working with refugees and IDPs. US international efforts were designed to create structures and institutions of the Afghan state to help protect the rights of women, the spokeswoman maintained.
“It’s something that we are all committed to, that the Afghan Government and President Karzai is committed to. But it’s a long road, and we’re going to have to keep working on it. As we’ve said, even as we wind down the combat mission, our civilian programs are going to continue in Afghanistan,” Nuland said.
In response to a question, Nuland said there is no change in the 2014 drawdown timeline. “I think we have all confirmed from the President on down that we are committed to the Lisbon timetable which speaks about full transfer at the end of 2014.
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