In a truly awful act of violence, an Afghan man strangled his wife to death after she gave birth to a second daughter instead of the son he had wanted. The 22-year-old woman, whose name was Estorai, had previously told her family members that her husband was unhappy with the birth of their first daughter and had threatened to kill her if she gave birth to another girl.
Then several months ago, Estorai delivered a daughter. Last week her body was found dead in their house, and her husband, named Sher Mohammed, was gone. The woman's mother-in-law was arrested and is accused of helping her son in his plot to kill his wife. She swears Estorai killed herself, but her body showed no evidence of hanging and no rope was found on the scene.
Although it sounds in this case like the husband may have been troubled in other ways, this type of crime stems from the fact that in Afghanistan baby boys are seen as much more valuable additions to a family, unlike girls who are considered a drain on the family's finances until they're married. Let's hope this was an isolated incident and that the husband faces justice for his crime. But tragic instances like this, taken in conjunction with other terrible acts of violence against women in Afghanistan, have led many to worry about what will happen to the drive for women's rights as NATO forces slowly withdraw from the country.