Afghan woman left blind from attack after taking job as police officer

An Afghan woman’s father was so opposed to her landing a job with the police that he tipped off a group of savages who shot her and stabbed her in the eyes, according to a report.

“I asked the doctors why I can’t see anything? They told me that my eyes are still bandaged because of the wounds. But at that moment, I knew my eyes had been taken from me,” Khatera told Reuters.

The 33-year-old woman, who only uses one name, and authorities blamed the horrific attack on Taliban militants, who have denied involvement, the news outlet reported.

“I wish I had served in police at least a year. If this had happened to me after that, it would have been less painful. It happened too soon … I only got to work and live my dream for three months,” said Khatera, who served as an officer in the Ghazni police crime branch.

As a child, Khatera dreamed of working outside the home — and after years of trying in vain to convince her father, she got the support she craved from her husband.

“Many times, as I went to duty, I saw my father following me … he started contacting the Taliban in the nearby area and asked them to prevent me from going to my job,” she told Reuters.

She said her father provided the Taliban with a copy of her ID card and that he had called her the day she was attacked to ask for her location.

A police spokesman confirmed they believed the Taliban were behind the attack and that Khatera’s father had been arrested.

A Taliban spokesman told Reuters the group was aware of the case, but that they were not involved in what they deemed to be a family matter.

Khatera and her family — including five kids — are now hiding out in Kabul, where she has cut off contact with her extended family, including her mother, who blames her for her father’s arrest.

“If it is possible, I get back my eyesight, I will resume my job and serve in the police again,” she said. “But the main reason is my passion to do a job outside the home.”

Her attack is indicative of a growing trend of an often violent backlash against women taking jobs, especially in public roles, according to human rights activists.

The activists believe the country’s conservative social norms and an emboldened Taliban gaining influence while the US withdraws its troops is driving the escalation.

The Taliban have recently said they will respect women’s rights under Sharia law, though many educated women have expressed their doubts.

“Though the situation for Afghan women in public roles has always been perilous, the recent spike in violence across the country has made matters even worse,” Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan campaigner, told Reuters.

“The great strides made on women’s rights in Afghanistan over more than a decade must not become a casualty of any peace deal with the Taliban,” she added.

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