Most of us have been trying to understand the current financial debacle (here’s the timeline as the Brits see it), or watching Tina Fey do her Sarah Palin parody using Sarah’s own words. It’s easy to miss other news. I heard about Malalai Kakar on the radio yesterday.
September 29, 2008
Leading policewoman Malalai Kakar shot dead in Afghanistan
Here’s another article from The Scotsman:
Women in Afghanistan: Dying for the job
Commander Malalai Kakar was shot dead outside her house on Sunday. (Picture: Getty)Women in Afghanistan are being murdered simply for going out to work. Those in high-profile jobs are particularly at risk, as the assassination of a high ranking policewoman this week brutally reiterated, writes Emma Cowing.
LIKE MANY working mothers, Malalai Kakar followed a routine most mornings. She would get her six children up and dressed, cook them a thin pancake filled with green onions for breakfast, see them off to school or settled into their daily chores, then head to work herself. But on Sunday morning, as Kakar walked out of her front door on her way to the office, she was shot dead. Her son, who had been due to give her a lift, was critically injured. Her murderers were members of the Taleban. Their target was Afghanistan’s most senior policewoman.
The death of Commander Kakar, who at 41 was head of Kandahar city’s department of crimes against women, has sent shockwaves through the international community. The European Union mission described the attack as “particularly abhorrent” and said she was an “example” to her fellow citizens. Hamid Karzai, the Afghan President, described the killing as “an act of cowardice by enemies of peace, welfare and reconstruction in the country”. But to many, not least her family, Commander Kakar’s death comes as little surprise.
For months she had been the target of death threats, and there had been several previous attacks on her life. She carried a pistol underneath her burqa, and often wore the traditional form of Islamic dress in an attempt to remain unrecognised when travelling within Kandahar. As the first female graduate of Kandahar Police Academy – no mean feat in a city that was once the headquarters of the Taleban and is still home to many of its sympathisers – she became the first woman investigator in Kandahar Police Department, and at the time of her death headed a team of around ten female police officers who made it their priority to protect women’s rights. In Afghanistan, even seven years after the fall of the Taleban regime, such a career does not go unnoticed. Rest of the article here.
What can I possibly say? I stand in awe and admiration of the brave women mentioned in the article above:
Zurghana Kakar (If you click on that link, scroll down—she’s mentioned toward the end of the article.) Member of the Afghanistan parliament whose husband was recently killed in an assassination attempt on her life (no relation to Malalai Kakar).
Soraya Sobhrang, member of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission