Afghan Parliament Refuses to Protect Women

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.

16 comments on this post.
  1. theschwa:

    Have they at least adopted the uniform commercial code to assure a fair market price for their women??

  2. Who Knows?:

    Islamic values? I guess values are still values, even if those values are shit.

  3. Synfandel:

    Without a constitution that defines and defends basic human rights, democracy just becomes tyranny of the majority (i.e. the majority within parliament).

  4. Pierce R. Butler:

    They should bring in Justin Vacula and Sara Mayhew to help them articulate their case.

  5. matty1:

    Because men own women and can “give them away” to another man who then owns them.

    That still forms a part of standard Christian wedding services. I wonder how many people think about the implications of the giving the bride away custom?

  6. criticaldragon1177:

    #3 Synfandel ,

    You wrote.

    “Without a constitution that defines and defends basic human rights, democracy just becomes tyranny of the majority (i.e. the majority within parliament).”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m glad I don’t live in a country like Afghanistan.

  7. Anthony K:

    They should bring in Justin Vacula and Sara Mayhew to help them articulate their case.

    The two who love to argue that if something is not explicitly illegal, then making a complaint about it hurts real victims?

    Well, since these legal protections weren’t actually enshrined in law, Afghan women should have nothing to complain about.

  8. Gregory in Seattle:

    Gee, they are kind of like the Republicans in Congress and many state legislatures. Who’d have thunk?

  9. Modusoperandi:

    matty1 “That still forms a part of standard Christian wedding services. I wonder how many people think about the implications of the giving the bride away custom?”
    It is obvious. All that socialism and feminism have broken the Free Market, to the point that fathers can’t even make a profit selling their daughters anymore and have to just give them away.

  10. Sastra:

    matty1 #5 wrote:

    I wonder how many people think about the implications of the giving the bride away custom?

    Nowadays the enlightened interpret that phrase metaphorically:

    Father-of-the-Bride (whispering to groom during ceremony): “Psst … she’s kinda crabby in the morning.”

  11. Artor:

    Hey Ed, why don’t you ever complain about the Mooslims? You’re just an anti-Xtian, anti-’Murrikkkan fanatic. You never say anything against Islam, or they’ll cut off your head. Gawd-fearing Real ‘Murricans™ wish they could do that here, but traitors like you took Jeebus out of the Constitution he wrote so you could ram teh Gay Agenda down all our throats.

    Did I get the wingnut response right?

  12. Homo Straminus:

    MO@9: You’re an evil man.

  13. criticaldragon1177:

    #11 Artor,

    I won’t be surprised if some Islamophobic nut job claims, he only posted this here to hide the fact that he’s a defender of the “evil of Islam” and is part of the “stealth jihad,” not to mention a “secret Muslim”

  14. bmiller:

    Aren’t we all, criticaldragon? I mean, anyone who is not a foaming christian nationalist is BY DEFINITION a Secret Muslim.

  15. Ichthyic:

    , including keeping the legal age for women to marry at 16

    note:

    KEEPING.

    IOW, it appears they just went even more backwards.

    Yes, invading afghanistan and killing tens of thousands to bring them the model democracy of the US has worked so well!

    It worked so well for the Russians before.

    and the English before that…

    nobody learns nuthin.

  16. =8)-DX:

    Without a constitution that defines and defends basic human rights, democracy just becomes tyranny of the majority (i.e. the majority within parliament).

    The thing is, those constitutions don’t just appear out of the woodwork. In democratic nations you have to ratify these by majority vote as well. Either that or have centuries of activist engagement and political culture, several revolutions, major strikes, wars and oppression.

    So I’d say, without a culture where the majority is able to accept, define and defend basic human rights, democracy just becomes the tyranny of the majority.

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