Kandahar, as the article indicates, is a Taliban stronghold. Malalaï Kakar, 40, mother of 6, was in charge of the Division of crimes against women at th Kandahar police department. She had received threats from the Taliban before. Herself the daughter of a police officer, she had fled the country when the Talibans had taken over but had returned in 2001. She had then become the first woman police officer.
Two years ago, Malalaï Kakar refused to wear the burqa and never went out without her weapon and in the company of a male relative. Police officers are especially targeted by the Talibans in the current wave of violence. In the past 6 months, 720 police officers have been killed. A policewoman had already been assassinated by the Talibans last June in the Western part of the country.
This is part of a clear pattern that indicates that living conditions are still precarious for women in Afghanistan, especially those that challenge the traditional gender role… or cages where the Taliban would like to have them confined.