Anisa was a mature Grade 10 student at the Mahmoud Raqi Girls’ High School in Kapisa province, Afghanistan, who was working towards high school completion while also working as a community health volunteer on a polio eradication campaign in her village. She was shot and killed on her way home from school on December 4, 2012. Insurgents are suspected of carrying out Anisa’s murder.
Anisa is only the latest victim in a long spate of targeted attacks against female students, their teachers, principals, and parents. Most of these victims are unnamed and unknown outside of Afghanistan, and their deaths are quickly forgotten, their legacies snuffed out too quickly.
But when Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai survived a similar attack in Pakistan’s Swat Valley earlier this year, people around the world demonstrated a solidarity too often absent in the face of one of history’s most important social justice struggles: the fight of girls and women like Anisa and Malala to learn.
We the undersigned are calling for a full investigation into the death of a secondary student and polio campaign volunteer community health worker from Kapisa province, Afghanistan named Anisa, who was reportedly killed on or around December 4, 2012. While reports differ about the exact circumstances of her death, several sources allege that she died after sustaining six bullet wounds, suggesting a targeted attack. Further, Anisa reportedly received threats prior to her death, and had previously survived another assassination attempt.
The United Nations should work with the Government of Afghanistan to carry out a full and thorough investigation into Anisa's death and bring the perpetrators to justice in accordance with Afghan and international law.
UNAMA should also work with the Government of Afghanistan to better meet its obligations to protect female students and all women and girls who work outside the home. Under the 2004 Afghan Constitution and numerous international covenants including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Afghan women and girls are entitled to the right to education, the right to work, and the right to participate in public life. It is the duty of the Government of Afghanistan, as a member of the United Nations and the international community, to uphold these rights and to act to protect women and girls from violence.
We urge you to do everything in your power to take action that will lead to some justice for Anisa, in the wake of this unacceptable tragedy.