A new Afghan law that applies to the Shia minority takes away even more women’s rights:
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.”
Here are some of the details of the law:
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.