The Afghan parliament could not pass a law to provide the most basic protections for women because of opposition from Muslim fundamentalists. I’m sure it will come as a shock to hear that they objected to the bill and killed it because it was opposed to their Islamic “values.”
Religious members objected to at least eight articles in the legislation, including keeping the legal age for women to marry at 16, the existence of shelters for domestic abuse victims and the halving of the number of wives permitted to two.
“Today, the parliamentarians who oppose women’s development, women’s rights and the success of women…made their voices loud and clear,” Fawzia Koofi, head of parliament’s women’s commission, told Reuters…
Some members sought amendments, such as longer prison terms for crimes committed against women, such as beating and rape.
Many lawmakers, most of them male, cited violations of Islamic, or Sharia law.
“It is wrong that a woman and man cannot marry off their child until she is 16,” said Obaidullah Barekzai, a member from southeast Uruzgan province, where female literacy rates are among the lowest in the country.
An Afghan man must be at least 18 years old to marry.
Barekzai argued against all age limits for women, citing historical figure Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq, a close companion of the Prophet Mohammad, who married off his daughter at age seven.
At least eight other lawmakers, mostly from the Ulema Council, a government-appointed body of clerics, joined him in decrying the EVAL as un-Islamic.
Abdul Sattar Khawasi, member for Kapisa province, called women’s shelters “morally corrupt”. Justice Minister Habibullah Ghaleb last year dismissed them as houses of “prostitution and immorality”, provoking fierce condemnation from women’s groups.
Because men own women and can “give them away” to another man who then owns them. Gee, I can’t imagine why we think feminism is still an important idea.
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