Female Affairs

Afghanistan's First Women's Shelters

A small sign of hope: Women in Afghanistan now have at least some refuge from domestic oppression in the form of newly created shelters across the country. Before 2003, shelters did not exist because they were viewed as "a foreign intrusion in Afghan society, where familial and community problems have traditionally been resolved through the mediation of tribal leaders and councils," reports The New York Times. But social organizations and the newly created Ministry of Women's Affairs give a place to stay for abused women like 13-year-old Gulsum, who was kidnapped by her father, forced to marry a man who threatened to kill her, and attempted suicide. Beating, torture, and trafficking are still prevalent around the country; however, government response to domestic violence has improved since the overthrow of the Taliban.