*Note: The refugee center in Athens serves a lot of Afghan refugees. The description below is a reality for many of the women that come through our doors. Continue praying…

AFGHAN WOMEN STILL STRUGGLE — Millions of women and girls in Afghanistan continue to face daily violence and discrimination five years after the fall of the extremist Taliban government — and activists who try to help face violence themselves.

In September, Safia Amajan, head of the Women’s Affairs Ministry in the southern city of Kandahar, was shot dead after criticizing the Taliban’s treatment of women, according to a report by the BBC. Though jobs opportunities now exist for women, many are afraid to leave their homes because of the security situation in the country. Others suffer from domestic violence in arranged marriages or at the hands of families who are given a girl to resolve a dispute with the girl’s parents. About 57 percent of Afghan girls are married before 16, the legal marriage age. As many as 80 percent of marriages are forced.

Girls who resist the arrangements may be killed by their own relatives to protect family honor. Desperate women often resort to extreme measures to escape. One hospital in Herat reported that in six months 53 women had set fire to themselves.

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