Afghan woman killed for giving birth to 2nd daughter

An Afghan woman has been strangled to death, apparently by her husband, who was upset that she gave birth to a second daughter rather than the son he wanted, police have said.

It was the latest in a series of grisly examples of subjugation of women that have made headlines in Afghanistan in the past few months including a 15-year-old tortured and forced into prostitution by in-laws and a female rape victim who was imprisoned for adultery.

The episodes have raised the question of what will happen to the push for women’s rights in Afghanistan as the international presence there shrinks along with the military drawdown. NATO forces are scheduled to pull out by the end of 2014.

In the 10 years since the ouster of the Taleban, great strides have been made for women in Afghanistan, with many attending school, working in offices and even sometimes marching in protests. But abuse and repression of women are still common, particularly in rural areas where women are still unlikely to set foot outside of the house without a burqa robe that covers them from head to toe.

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