Press Esc to close
Saturday 23 August 2014
News updated at 10:44 PM IST
Weather
Max: 30°C
Min : 20°C
In Bangalore
Cloudy sky

Afghanistan passes 'food for sex' law

Jon Boone, Kandahar, The Guardian:

Afghanistan has quietly passed a law permitting Shia men to deny their wives food and sustenance if they refuse to obey their husbands’ sexual demands, despite international outrage over an earlier version of the legislation which President Hamid Karzai had promised to review.

 
 A young Afghan woman looks on as she listens during a women’s gathering held to discuss the country’s forthcoming presidential elections in Kabul. AFPThe new final draft of the legislation also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work.

“It also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying ‘blood money’ to a girl who was injured when he raped her,” the US charity Human Rights Watch said.

In early April, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown joined an international chorus of condemnation when The Guardian revealed that the earlier version of the law legalised rape within marriage, according to the UN.


Although Karzai appeared to back down, activists say the revised version of the law still contains repressive measures and contradicts the Afghan constitution and international treaties signed by the country.

Islamic law experts and human rights activists say that although the language of the original law has been changed, many of the provisions that alarmed women’s rights groups remain, including this one: “Tamkeen is the readiness of the wife to submit to her husband’s reasonable sexual enjoyment, and her prohibition from going out of the house, except in extreme circumstances, without her husband’s permission. If any of the above provisions are not followed by the wife she is considered disobedient.”

The law has been backed by the hardline Shia cleric Ayatollah Mohseni, who is thought to have influence over the voting intentions of some of the country’s Shias, which make up around 20 per cent of the population.

Karzai has assiduously courted such minority leaders in the run up to next Thursday’s election, which is likely to be a close run thing, according to a poll released on Friday.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Bengaluru Archbishop Bernard Moras paying his last respect to Poet U R Ananthmurthy ...

Bengaluru Archbishop Bernard Moras paying his last respect to Poet U R Ananthmurthy ...

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with her daughter Aaradhya arrives at Sanganer air port in Jaipur ...

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with her daughter Aaradhya arrives at Sanganer air port in Jaipur ...

Arun Jaitley  during the commissioning of  Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette INS Kamorta ...

Arun Jaitley during the commissioning of Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette INS Kamorta ...

Bollywood actress Vaani Kapoor walks the ramp at Lakme Fashion Week ...

Bollywood actress Vaani Kapoor walks the ramp at Lakme Fashion Week ...

Actor Jackie Shroff distributes prizes for the Ganeshotsav mandals in Thane, Mumbai ...

Actor Jackie Shroff distributes prizes for the Ganeshotsav mandals in Thane, Mumbai ...

Wreckage of a car after an accident at Inderlok in New Delhi ...

Wreckage of a car after an accident at Inderlok in New Delhi ...

Jnanpith awardee UR Ananthamurthy's mortal remains being carried for last rites in Bengaluru ...

Jnanpith awardee UR Ananthamurthy's mortal remains being carried for last rites in Bengaluru ...

British Parliamentarians (green) during a friendly rugby match with Indian players in Mumbai ...

British Parliamentarians (green) during a friendly rugby match with Indian players in Mumbai ...

Former New Zealand Captain Stephen Fleming taking a selfie with female fans in Mumbai ...

Former New Zealand Captain Stephen Fleming taking a selfie with female fans in Mumbai ...

Actress Shruthi Haasan during the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014 in Mumbai ...

Actress Shruthi Haasan during the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014 in Mumbai ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523