Nadia Anjuman: an update
I posted recently on the tragic case of Nadia Anjuman, the Afghan female poet apparently murdered by her husband.
In The Times today, Christina Lamb (author of The Sewing Circles of Herat)has a lovely piece about her, her work and the brave group of women and girls with whom she had studied through the Taliban years.
Her poetry alluded to an acute sense of confinement. "I am caged in this corner, full of melancholy and sorrow," she wrote in one "ghazal", or lyrical poem, adding: "My wings are closed and I cannot fly." It concludes: "I am an Afghan woman and must wail."
It is hard to know how much attention the case is getting within Afghanistan, but there are some suggestions that it might at least encourage the start of a debate about domestic violence.
"Unfortunately, this shocking act indicates there is increasing violence against women in our society," Ahmad Fahim Hakim, deputy chairman of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), said, adding the security officials had not properly investigated such cases in the past.
"Only condemning is not enough, the government should take strict action to avoid such violence against women in the country," Hakim added.
Khalida Khursand, a local journalist and writer in Herat, said Anjuman’s killing demonstrated that violence against women was universal in Afghanistan, even taking place in intellectual families.
My experiences in Thailand suggest that international pressure and concern for international opinion can be a big help to local campaigners trying to address such issues. (Usually working against enormous local pressures.) It can only be hoped that the UN and other international groups will do all they can to keep up the pressure on the issue.