One of the unstated purposes of this blog is to ensure that the readers are exposed to certain topics which they may not have come across in the normal course of the day.
In my earlier article, I had discussed about the ironical twist that while Saudi women were beginning to a semblance of freedom, the women of the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan were slipping more into dark ages.
Pakistan’s neighbor, the Taliban over-run country of Afghanistan has taken the deploration of women’s rights to an all new low. The President of the country, Hamid Karzai, signed a law that legalizes rape of women in the country.
This is not a gag, he actually did that.
Article 132 of the law states that a it is legally permissible for a man to have sexual intercourse with his wife whenever he wants even if she refuses it.
Women therefore have been reduced to mere objects like a plate or a pair of slippers which can be used by a man whenever he would want to. Using the term women’s freewill in places like this would be an oxymoron.
In case you are wondering whether a legal / political system in Afghanistan did not object to this before the President signed, it is interesting to know how the bill came to his table. The law was debated by 249 members of the Lower House, which incidentally had 68 women also, some of whom (get ready for this) voted for the law.
It is even more saddening to go a step back a little more and understand why this happened now. The bill had been lying dormant for more than a year, when suddenly it was pursued with renewed interest by the President. Not coincidentally, the elections are right around the corner and passing this law would ingratiate him with the minority Shia community and thus strengthen his allied stand in the elections. The law was not read in the Upper House (1) and when the members of the lower house voted for the bill they had no idea what they were voting for(2).
Women in Afghanistan, are required to wear blue burqas wherever they go. They are not allowed to be schooled. Now if they want to leave the house alone, they would have to take the permissions of their husbands. If all this was not enough, they have been reduced to nothing more than a cigarette -to be used whenever the pleasure is desired and snuffed under the foot immediately after.
One can completely agree with the statement of Afghan parliamentarian Fawzia Koofi, “In Afghanistan the sacrifice in political games in women and children.”
Do you think there is any hope for the women Afghanistan? Where will it come from? Have you seen any other instance where women’s rights have turned around for their betterment? Share your views.