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Ulema blame insecurity, poverty for increasing violence against women in north

AT-KABUL: Religious scholars termed insecurity and widespread poverty as the main reasons behind increasing sexual violence against women in Afghanistan’s north.

A number of ulema and civil society activists came together in Mazar-e-Sahrif, the capital city of Balkh province, on Monday to assess reasons behind mounting violence against women. Participants of the session blamed insecurity and poverty for rise in violence against women.

Maulavi Matiullah, a religious scholar, said that lack of awareness about Islamic instructions was another reason behind increase violence against women. “There are three main reasons behind sexual violence against women: lack of awareness about Islamic instructions, widespread poverty and insecurity,” he added.

Malika Ahmadzai, a civil society activist, said that ulema can play an important role to raise public awareness about women rights. “Religious scholars should preach against violence against women during Friday sermons,” she added.

Najiba Quraishi, Jawzjan women affairs director, blamed social taboos for violence against women. She said that they have registered 65 cases on violence against women in the province.

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