Afghanistan Legalizes Marital Rape

by Web Intern

Photograph: Ahmad Masood/REUTERS

Want to read something mortifying? The Guardian just released an article stating that Hamid Karzai, Prime Minister of Afghanistan just rushed a bill through the Afghan parliament which will legalize marital rape. ‘The final document has not been published, but the law is believed to contain articles that rule women cannot leave the house without their husbands’ permission, that they can only seek work, education or visit the doctor with their husbands’ permission, and that they cannot refuse their husband sex.’
Apparently this legislation is the result of Hamid Karzai’s attempts to woo extremist swing voters for the upcoming elections in August. I find it very ironic that a government which is continually fighting a Taliban insurgency is creating Taliban era laws. I am immensely saddened that such an extreme policy demanded by a small minority will become law for an entire country; all for the electioneering of an increasingly unpopular and ineffective politician.Afghanistan’s constitution, ratified in 2004 has an equal rights clause stating that, ‘The citizens of Afghanistan, whether man or woman have equal rights and duties before the law.’ (Article 22) However, prior to that article is the mandate, ‘In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.’ (Article 3) Needless to say, some interpretations of Islamic faith bring these articles into direct opposition with each other. I guess time will tell what the Afghan courts make of this. America and the UN have been shamefully silent so far. Obama better not let this happen quietly under the radar.


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