Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times
July 12, 2012
Obaida Rahmati makes the trip to school from the Kabul shelter where she lives. When she was 9, her heroin-addicted father sold her to a neighbor, who planned to marry her as soon as she turned 12, a fate she narrowly escaped after her older sister helped rescue her. Although access to education for girls has improved since U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban regime in 2001, fewer than half of them attend school. Women and girls have little control over their fates in Afghanistan, a country deemed the most dangerous place to be a woman, according to a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of health experts. The reasons: gender-targeted violence, brutal poverty and abysmal healthcare.