Afghan women's fight for equal rights was dealt another major blow Friday by the bloody car bomb death of a regional head of women's affairs, Reuters reported.
Hanifa Safi was driving through Mehtar Lam, located in Afghanistan's Laghman province, when a bomb that had been attached to her car went off, killing her and seriously injuring her husband, reported provincial governor's spokesman Sarhadi Zwak to Reuters. 10 civilians were also wounded in the attack.
Tragically, the murder of Safi was not without precedent: the Guardian reported she was the second Afghan provincial head of women's affairs to be killed in the 10 years since the post was created.
It's unsure at this time who's behind the bombing, as no organization has stepped forward yet to take responsibility.
The death of Safi marks a brutal week for Afghan women, coming on the heels of the widely publicized, brutal execution of a 22-year-old Parwan Province woman for "adultery." The Taliban continue to deny any participation in the incident.
Some activists and commentators claim that President Hamid Karzai's seemingly waning interest in women's rights helped bring about this latest rash of violence.
In a small, positive sign in the midst of the gender violence, protests against the public execution have taken place in Kabul this week, indicating public attitudes toward overt violence against women may be changing, the Guardian reported.
"We want the government to take action on behalf of these women ... who are victims of violence and who are being killed," said Zuhra Alamyar to Al Jazeera yesterday, as she participated in the Kabul rally.
"We want the government to take serious action and stop them."