A UN agency in Afghanistan says it will stop publishing photographs on its website to highlight the plight of Afghan women ahead of International Women's Day on March 8.

Rob Few, communications chief for the UN Development Program said Sunday the move aims to draw attention to the fear many Afghan women have of the potential consequences of appearing in public.

In conservative Afghanistan, women are often subject to abuse, forced into arranged marriages, and even traded to settle disputes.

High-profile women have been murdered. As a result, few women are active in public life.

Few says the decision came after an Afghan woman helped by the agency to escape a forced marriage was too afraid to have her photo published alongside a report about her experience.