Uprooted by violence, Afghan women held like prisoners in camps: report

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Afghan women and girls uprooted by violence and living in camps in major cities are most vulnerable to abuse by male family members, who treat them like prisoners and sell them “like animals” into marriage, aid agencies said on Monday.

Living in makeshift settlements, they face hunger and psychological trauma, and are denied access to education and healthcare, said a report by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and The Liaison Office, an Afghanistan-based peace organization.

Compared with other Afghans, those displaced are more likely to be non-literate, hungry, and unemployed, while women and girls are particularly vulnerable, the report found.

Afghanistan continues to be beset by violence from the Taliban and other militants, which has left more than 800,000 people homeless within the country, according to NRC.

A growing number of those displaced head to cities, where they live in ramshackle dwellings in huge informal settlements.

More than half of the women and girls interviewed by NRC said they were not allowed by the men in their families to visit friends or other family members, while many said they were fearful of abusive husbands or drug-addicted fathers…