Saturday, August 15, 2009
Fighting for Slavery
As you surely know, people are still fighting for democracy in Afghanistan. Is it working? Not really! American journalists found out a law which practically legalizes rape.
Months ago, there was this law that refused to acknowledge the right of a woman to refuse sex to her husband. Under mounting pressure, President Karzai ordered a review of the legislation. After some deliberation, the law was then sent back to Parliament with a clause stating that husbands had the right to withhold food if their wives refused to have sex with them. The law also allows rapists to marry their victims to absolve their crimes.
Article 132 of the law says, “As long as the husband is not traveling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night. Unless the wife is ill or has any kind of illness that intercourse could aggravate, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband.”
This law grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers. It requires women to get permission from their husbands to work.
These kinds of barbaric laws were supposed to have been relegated to the past with the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, yet president Karzai has revived them and given them his official stamp of approval. Many women activists have accused Karzai of abandoning his previous moderate views on women's rights to help him secure votes in the presidential election, due this month.
Even if Amnesty International has released a serious statement claiming that the law is a violation of human rights, it seems little can be done in order to really acknowledge and respect women's rights in this country, for which even Romania is fighting.