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Five women airport workers gunned down in Afghanistan

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
Five women airport workers gunned down in Afghanistan

Five female airport guards have been killed in a gun attack in Afghanistan.

They were attacked on their way to work at Kandahar airport.

The driver of their minibus has also been killed.

What happened?

A spokesman for the governor of Kandahar says the women were in charge of searching female travellers at Kandahar airport.

They had been hired by a private security company.

“Two gunmen on a motorbike followed their van and opened fire,” Samim Khpulwak told reporters.

Has anyone admitted carrying out the attack?

Not at the time of writing.

However, it is known that Taliban fighters engaged in an insurgency to topple the foreign-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani oppose women working outside their homes.

Women’s rights in Afghanistan

From bomb attacks, targeted or so-called “honour” killings and domestic abuse, Afghan women have borne the brunt of the 15 years of conflict during the Taliban-led insurgency.

Security has deteriorated adn violence has increased across most of the country.

Although Afghan women had made hard-fought rights gains in education and work since the collapse of the Taliban in 2001, there are growing fears that these could reverse with the deterioration of security and increase in violence.

Despite years of pressure by women’s groups and foreign donors, Afghanistan remains one of the most difficult places to be a woman.

Restoring fundamental women’s rights was one of the main objectives of the international community in Afghanistan.

When they were in power from 1996-2001, the Taliban banned girls from school and women from working.