Thursday, May 23, 2013

Meanwhile*, in Afghanistan

Women's rights are not at all secure:

Afghan lawmakers on Saturday rejected the Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women, which would criminalize child marriage, forced marriage, domestic violence and the exchange of girls and women to settle arguments, among other things. The law would also make it illegal for women to face criminal charges for adultery for being raped. (You heard that right.)
Conservative religious lawmakers argue that the law encourages “disobedience,” and says the law goes against Islamic principles (the familiar blame-God-for-the-freedoms-we-take-from-you argument). Mandavi Abdul Rahmani, one of the conservative lawmakers who opposes the law, said the Koran makes it clear that a man can beat his wife if she does not obey him, as long as she isn’t permanently harmed. (Hey, bruises go away! Even broken bones heal!) He added, “Adultery itself is a crime in Islam, whether it is by force or not.”

Human Rights Watch is urging international donors to pressure Afghanistan’s government to improve women’s rights in the country. The critical date for activists is April 2014, when Afghanistan elects a new president who will have the power to eliminate the Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women.

More on this all here.
*The meanwhile-series is about bad stuff happening to women because of governments, cultures or religions, with not much commenting by me.