Friday, October 2, 2009

Afghanistan: Womens' Rights Legislation

From Associated Press:
Now, Afghanistan is poised to enact legislation that would allow her to prosecute her husband for abuse. Courts hold little sway in Afghanistan, but activists call the law a necessary step in the slow struggle for real rights for women here.

The Elimination of Violence Against Women Act comes on the heels of a marriage law for the minority Shiite Muslim community that sparked an international uproar in March because of wording that appeared to legalize marital rape.

The government changed the Shiite law to remove the most controversial phrases, but the revised version now in effect still allows a husband to withhold financial support from his wife if she refuses to have sex with him and limits women's ability to leave the home.

The debate over the Shiite law soured Afghanistan's reputation abroad just as the country headed into an August presidential election, and it appears to have propelled the latest legislation to the president's desk.

Sunni Muslims make up about 80 percent of the population, with Shiites comprising at least 15 percent.

No comments: