Back in April I highlighted a impending law known as the Afghan Rape Law, which aside from legalizing rape within a marriage, would also ban women from stepping outside of their homes without the permission of their husbands; permission that was also needed to do everyday tasks such as go to school, work, or to see a doctor.
When I first wrote about the law it hadn’t been passed yet because of the criticism and protest from western leaders and Afghan women’s rights groups, causing Afghan President Hamid Karzai to promise a review. Now it’s been reported that Afghanistan quietly passed this law sometime in late July, allowing Shia men to deny women food, shelter, and even custody of their children, for refusing sexual demands. According to Human Rights Watch, there is an added stipulation in the final law, allowing rapists to avoid persecution by paying ‘blood money’ to their victim, and the guardianship of children automatically being given to fathers and grandfathers in case of divorce or separation.
“Reporting from Kabul, Laura King says that “many Afghans, of both sexes, describe the heady optimism that prevailed after the Taliban government was dislodged in 2001, only to be replaced by the growing trepidation over the last three years as the insurgency reinvigorated itself, violence surged, corruption flourished and rebuilding proved agonizingly slow.
Islamic law experts and human rights activists state that although the language has changed from the original documentation of the law, basically nothing has changed, including this:
“Tamkeen is the readiness of the wife to submit to her husband’s reasonable sexual enjoyment, and her prohibition from going out of the house, except in extreme circumstances, without her husband’s permission. If any of the above provisions are not followed by the wife she is considered disobedient.”
Below is a video from back in April when the law was first written:
- The World According to M.I.S.S.: Afghan Rape Law
- Always A Lady: Stand Up For Yourself
- Ask MISSter Simms: Is Three A Crowd?
- Ask MISSter Simms: Will He Leave His Wife For Me?
- Reading Rendezvous: Husband and Wife by Leah Stewart