The last thing the 33-year-old Hatera saw, shortly after she left her job at a police station in Ghazni province, was three men on a motorcycle shooting and stabbing her in the eye.
When he woke up in the hospital everything was dark.
“I asked the doctors why I do not see anything. I was told that my eyes were still bandaged due to the injuries. “But at that moment I realized that I did not have eyes”, says the young woman.
She and local authorities have blamed the attack on Taliban militants, who have denied any involvement, and said the perpetrators acted on the information of her father, who was strongly opposed to his daughter working outside the home.
For her, the attack not only deprived her of her sight, but also of her dream, which she had struggled to realize, that is, to have an independent career. He had joined the Ghazni police as an officer a few months ago.
“I wish I had served in the police for at least a year. If this happened to me later, it would be less painful. “It happened so fast; I went to work and lived my dream for only three months,” the young woman told Reuters.
The attack on Hatera, which uses only its name, is indicative of a growing trend, say human rights activists, of a strong and often violent backlash against working women, especially in the public sector.
In Hatera's case, being a police officer could have angered the Taliban.
Human rights activists believe that the combination of Afghanistan's conservative social norms and the growing influence of the Taliban as the United States withdraws its troops from the country lead to an escalation of the phenomenon.
The Taliban are currently in Doha, Qatar, negotiating a peace deal with the Afghan government, many of which are awaiting a formal return to power, but progress has been slow and there has been an increase in attacks on officials and prominent women. in the country.
“Although the situation for Afghans in public office has always been dangerous, the recent escalation of violence across the country has made matters worse,” said Samira Hamidi, an Amnesty International activist for Afghanistan.
“Significant steps taken for women's rights in Afghanistan over a decade should not fall victim to any peace agreement with the Taliban,” she said.
The childhood dream was shattered
Hatera's dream as a child was to work outside the home and after long efforts to persuade her father, which were in vain, she managed to secure the support of her husband.
But her father, as she explains, did not give up on his refusal.
“Many times when I went to work I saw my father following me; he had started contacting the Taliban in the neighboring area and asked them to stop me from going to work,” says Hatera.
According to her, her father gave the Taliban a copy of her ID to prove that she works for the police and called her on the day of the attack to find out where she was.
A Ghazni police spokesman confirmed that police believed the Taliban were behind the attack and said Hatera's father was in custody.
Reuters was unable to contact him directly for comment.
A Taliban spokesman said the group was aware of the case but that it was a family affair in which the Taliban were not involved.
Hatera and her family, including five children, are hiding in Kabul today, where she is recovering and mourning her lost career.
She has difficulty sleeping, flies every time she hears the sound of a motorcycle and has severed all ties with her extended family, including her mother, who accuses her of being responsible for her father's arrest.
She hopes that a doctor abroad may be able to somehow restore her vision.
“If it is possible for me to regain my sight, I will return to my job and serve in the police again,” he said, adding that he needed to have some income to escape poverty. “But the main reason is my passion for doing work outside the home.”