2009-04 In Support of Women in Afghanistan
By Yanar Mohammed (OWFI president)
In March 2009, the President of Afghanistan signed a law which legalizes rape in marriage and prevents women from leaving the house without permission of males.
Under this new family law framework, wives must submit to the sexual advances of husbands and be denied the most basic right of control over their bodies. The law also prevents women from seeking work, education or a doctor s appointments without their husband s permission. Moreover, the custody of children is solely vested to fathers and grandfathers.
Although this legislation was passed by the US-backed government of Afghanistan, it clearly reflects the Taliban Regime’s social values. Similar family laws have been in place for a long time in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Islamist allies of the United States. In the new so-called "democratic" Iraq, the Iraqi women s movement is also struggling to cancel the notorious article 41 of the constitution which gave way to similar practices.
The new family law in Afghanistan is a product of the American intervention and the support which was provided to Islamic groups during the 1980s in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, the US administration is not concerned with such a barbaric law, which proves that their only interest in Afghanistan was political and economic, but never women s rights or human rights in general.
The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) denounces this legislation which can only be described as a Women s Enslavement Law. All who condone and justify this law are partners in committing silent crimes against millions of women.
Women in Afghanistan deserve full social, economic and political equality with men.
We call on all women’s groups and human rights groups to support the women of Afghanistan in their fight against the dark forces which have once more prevailed in their society.
Long live freedom and equality for women in Afghanistan