Afghan Women Forced By Law to Have Sex

Afghanistan women are far from getting equal rights. This new law doesn’t help — it would apply to the Shia minority:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has just signed a law that forces women to obey their husbands’ sexual demands, keeps women from leaving the house — even for work or school — without a husband’s permission, automatically grants child custody rights to fathers and grandfathers before mothers, and favors men in inheritance disputes and other legal matters. In short, the law again consigns Afghan women to lives of brutal repression.

According to the Times Online (UK), the law was “passed without a formal debate and signed off by President Karzai this week, but is yet to be made law.”

What specifically does this law include?

Article 27 The age of maturity (and thus marriage) is 15 for boys; for girls it is when they have their first period

Article 132 The couple should not commit acts that create hatred and bitterness. The wife is bound to preen for her husband, as and when he desires. The husband, except when travelling or ill, is bound to have intercourse with his wife every four nights. The wife is bound to give a positive response

Article 133 The husband can stop the wife from any unnecessary, un-Islamic act. The wife cannot leave the house without the permission of the husband

Article 177 The wife does not have the right to the provision of maintenance by the husband unless she agrees to have intercourse with him and he gets an opportunity for doing so

— Obedience, readiness for intercourse and not leaving the house without the permission of the husband are the duties of the wife, violation of every one of them will mean disobedience to the husband

— One provision of the law appears to protect the woman’s right to sex inside marriage, saying that the “man should not avoid having sexual relations with his wife longer than once every four months”

Sayed Hossain Alemi Balkhi, a Shia lawmaker involved in drafting the law, defended the legislation, saying that it gives more rights to women than even Britain or the US does.

Hopefully, America won’t let this happen and Karzai will be pressured into making sure this law does not pass.

Seriously… what the hell is wrong with other countries…?

(via Center for Inquiry)

  • Autumnal Harvest

    . . .what the hell is wrong with other countries. . .

    While I agree (obviously) that this is incredibly repulsive and horrible, I do want to point out that this was the law in most U.S. states just 30-40 years ago. And also that, even now, Phyllis Schlafly complains that the laws shouldn’t have been changed to their modern form.

  • Richard Wade

    So much for Operation Enduring Freedom. What a wonderful country we have been propping up. Remind me, I can’t remember. What’s the difference between the Taliban and the Karzai Corruptocracy?

  • Jen

    Women get their periods awfully young these days. I know of several women who got them at nine- that doesn’t make them mature. I suppose that means nine year olds are old enough to marry and have to have sex with their husbands four times a week?

  • Miko

    Other than the unequal standards, what’s wrong with setting a lower age of maturity? The U.S. tradition of treating teens as children has it’s own array of negative consequences.

    And it goes without saying that I agree that the rest are unspeakably horrible. But America won’t do anything about it, not just because our politicians lack the will but because they lack the power. We’ve been attempting to rule the world with military and economic power, but government missteps over the last decade have permanently destroyed both. It’s time we gracefully dispose of our imperialist ambitions.

  • Ryan

    “Sayed Hossain Alemi Balkhi, a Shia lawmaker involved in drafting the law, defended the legislation, saying that it gives more rights to women than even Britain or the US does.”

    WHO THE FUCK IS HE TRYING TO FOOL? WHICH US OR BRITIAN IS HE TALKING ABOUT?! I swear, people like this are going to drive me to kill every person on the planet.

  • jemand

    That just goes to prove that these men do not actually want a wife.

    They want an animated sex doll.

    Actually, an inflatable one might work too…. so all you porn producers get to work! There’s obviously a TREMENDOUS demand for blowup sex dolls, sex robots, and other masturbatory aids. There is no way what they are describing is “sex”– it’s masturbation with a woman who’s mental state is supposed to be blank.

  • Tyler

    Apparently, the Muslim world is out to try and piss off everyone else. Can anyone say Overpopulation?

    At this point, I think it’s okay to just nuke the whole lot of ‘em. The fact that Arabic people seem to have few or no morals and the fact that they seem to want to kill everything they don’t enjoy/like it’s not a matter of if we will but a matter of when.

  • christi

    Seriously…where is the fun in having sex with an unwilling but complaisant partner? I would hate to know my partner didn’t want me, but was “bound by law” to lie there and take it.

  • CatBallou

    Tyler, that’s completely idiotic. Don’t imagine that “Western civilization” hasn’t been exactly as punitive, intolerant, misogynistic, violent, and driven by religious dogma at various times. Fortunately, there was no one around to advocate nuking our ancestors.

    And the Afghan people aren’t Arabs.

  • CatBallou

    While I’m not sure exactly what Autumnal Harvest is referring to regarding U.S. law—women have never been required to get permission before going outside—it is true that until very recently, a man could not be charged with raping his wife: it simply wasn’t a crime to force sex on your spouse.
    There was no requirement for a positive response, at least!

  • http://reanhouse.blogspot.com Sarah

    I look at how far we in the Western world have come regarding women’s rights then I look at this and I nearly cry.

    Does it make me a bad person if I’m grateful for being born in Canada rather than Afghanistan?

  • Ian

    I’m half-inclined to say we ought to just get all the women and children out of that vile country, and just wall all the men in there, and let them kill each other off.

  • Autumnal Harvest

    Yes, CatBallou, I was referring to the legality of marital rape, which was after all what the title of the post referred to.

  • http://governmentgrantswomen.com/ Autumnal Harvest

    Yes, CatBallou, I was referring to the legality of marital rape, which was after all what the title of the post referred to.
    BTW I love your blog!

  • TheDeadEye

    Sayed Hossain Alemi Balkhi, a Shia lawmaker involved in drafting the law, defended the legislation, saying that it gives more rights to women than even Britain or the US does.

    o.O

    Who does he think he’s trying to fool?

  • http://www.limetwists.com Cole

    I actually gasped more over Article 27 (a girl is mature and ready for marriage when she gets her first period) more than any of the rest of it. It’s very common for baby girls to experience a short menstruation immediately following birth because of the drop in estrogen that was present while in the mother’s womb. Some girls with disorders experience menstruation as young as 2, and even among children with no medical concerns it is not unheard of for a girl to begin menstruating as early as 8 or 9.

  • mikespeir

    But, don’t you know, we should respect their culture.

    And, no, I’m not serious.

  • SarahH

    This is just jaw-droppingly horrible.

    I’m half-inclined to say we ought to just get all the women and children out of that vile country, and just wall all the men in there, and let them kill each other off.

    To be fair, I’m sure there is definitely a sub-set of Afghan men who are just as appalled by this as we are, and I’m sure there are conservative women there who have already been living by this “law” and are pleased that their daughters and friends will now have to comply.

    Allowing this sort of legislation in a country we’re actively occupying seems negligent and inhumane. Do we only care about human rights when the Taliban is the government violating them? Democracy doesn’t guarantee that human rights will be protected. An elected official can turn out to be just as irresponsible and horrific as a dictator.

  • http://thebitchreport.blogspot.com/ Milena

    These laws are a serious step back for women’s rights in Afganistan, but that doesn’t mean that America needs to step in there paternalistically and remove all the women and children, or nuke everyone (really? Nuke all of them? What are you, 13?)

    The international community should be concerned and exert pressure on the government of Afganistan. But neither America, nor any other foreign power, can just step in, force everyone to accept any given way of life and make everything better. This sort of paternalistic approach just pushes people on the defensive and polarises them further. Change will have to come from within, from the Afgan people. We need to lend support to women’s and democracy groups in the region, but the Afgan people have to be at the forefront of the change they want to bring about. We can’t tell them what to do and how to do it, with our limited understanding of their culture and way of life.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Enlightenment is a long path for some.

  • Indigo

    Wow, Stephen Harper is actually doing the right thing for once! Canadians got sold on a long and expensive war on the basis that we were going to make things better for the people living in Afghanistan. I for one will be extremely pissed if we stay there letting our soldiers get blown up by IEDs while their government returns everything to a Taliban-style theocracy.

  • Ian

    or nuke everyone (really? Nuke all of them? What are you, 13?)

    Who said anything about nuking them? I just said get all the women and children out and let the men kill each other off. There’s obviously nothing the US can do for that country.

  • http://thebitchreport.blogspot.com/ Milena

    Who said anything about nuking them? I just said get all the women and children out and let the men kill each other off. There’s obviously nothing the US can do for that country.

    Sorry, that was in reference to a comment above yours.

  • gribblethemunchkin

    This is what happens when ignorant fools get to start wars. When Bush declared we were bringing democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t anyone in his little circle of facists think that this is maybe what many of the Afghans actually want?

    Remember the Taliban enjoyed widespread support in Afghanistan (and now pakistan), the coalition forces didn’t lead a populist uprising, they empowered warlords from the north to conquer the southern, taliban dominated areas. Karzai is a warlord and a tool of warlords. His government are brutal despots forced into a government by the US and told to be democratic. Who on earth honestly thought these men had anyones self interest but their own at heart? Who honestly believed that these men were in the least concerned about the rights of women and religious minorities?

    For some nations democracy simple means enshrining in law the prejudices of the masses against the minorities. Democracy isn’t always a good thing.

  • http://www.juanformoso.com.ar Juan Manuel

    Seriously… what the hell is wrong with other countries…?

    Please do not exclude the US, and don’t include every other country on the planet…

    I would say “Seriously… what the hell is wrong with people…?”

  • Vystrix Nexoth

    They’re entitled to glorify and codify their rape fantasies (and/or other peoples’ rape fantasies, for the political expediency of doing so), but are not entitled to have other countries committing their resources to defend them.

  • Polly

    At this point, I think it’s okay to just nuke the whole lot of ‘em.

    Does that include the women whose rights you’re so concerned about?

    There’s the American mentality at work. If you aren’t a liberal democracy (just like US regardless of the stage of development of your country), then we have the right to blow you to smitherenes to make you so – for your own good. Hey, who cares how many we kill as long as we’re peddling FREEDOM.

    Tyler is what I imagine a large cross-section of the US is like. In the 21st century, my fellow Americans transferred their racism overseas. That’s what was “accomplished.”

    Afganis are not Arabs and they speak Pashto – an Indoeuropean language. Arabic is part of the Semitic language family. They are also separated from the nearest Arab country by almost a thousand miles – across other Central Asian nations.

  • ASD

    I am waiting for the day when Afghanistan’s women all pack their bags and walk out of the country. They can vote there – they can vote with their feet. Their government will get a horrible shock when the Afghan people realise that there is such a thing as leaving your country when you don’t like the government and can’t do anything else about it.
    Okay, so it’s not as easy as walking across the border – but it’s not impossible. If people want freedom badly enough, they will walk hundreds of miles and do incredible things for it. If the Afghan people want freedom from these kind of batshit insane laws enough, leaving behind everything and travelling potentially halfway across the world will be worth it. It’s easier said than done, but it’s a lot easier than trying to change a country run by hyper-religious misogynists. And yeah, it hurts to have to leave your whole life behind – but being stoned also hurts a lot too, and leaving home isn’t likely to result in a horrible, painful death. Given how well attempts from within and without to turn Afghanistan around in the past have gone, I’d say this time it’s better if the saner Afghan people just walk away and let the theocracy hang itself.