Gunmen in the city of Kandahar reportedly opened fire on a van carrying female airport employees on Saturday. The firing killed 5 women along with their male driver.
The Afghanistan’s Government has already been struggling to increase opportunities for women to work, but those efforts have been hampered due to the conservative customs about the role of women in society.
Samim Khapalwak, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar, said two men on motorcycles stopped the van and fired on its occupants around 6:30 a.m. The women, who worked as contractors for a security company, helped screen passengers and luggage.
Abdul Ali Shamsi, the deputy governor of the province, said: “These five women served the women of Kandahar and the female passengers at Kandahar airport, and they were martyred today by the cowardly enemy. This is not the first time the cowardly enemy has targeted defenceless and innocent women.”
Among the killed was Bibi Assilah. Her father Khalil Ahmad said in a statement, “She was just 22, and she was also studying medicine at Malalai University, She was working to earn her university fees and fulfil her dreams, but the enemy of peace and humanity did not let her.”
No one has yet claimed the responsibility for the attack, whereas Taliban have denied that it was carried out by any of their fighters.
The ratio of working women in Afghan remains low in spite of Government taking rigorous actions.
Mr Khalapwak said, “We can say that in the Health Department about 13 percent of the staff is women, and in the Education Department around 30 percent, in the rest of the departments, we have less than 5 percent, female workers.”