Press Esc to close
Thursday 24 July 2014
News updated at 8:02 PM IST
Weather
Max: 27.9°C
Min : 21.3°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

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
Sir Chris Hoy passes the Queen's Baton to Prince Imran

Sir Chris Hoy passes the Queen's Baton to Prince Imran

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at the opening ceremony of the ...

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at the opening ceremony of the ...

Malaysia's Norbaini Hashim (L) and Siti Ruhani (R) challenge

Malaysia's Norbaini Hashim (L) and Siti Ruhani (R) challenge

Navjot Chana of India, in white attempts to throw Brandon ...

Navjot Chana of India, in white attempts to throw Brandon ...

Scotlands Neil Speirs and David Peacock react to a ball...

Scotlands Neil Speirs and David Peacock react to a ball...

Emma Jackson of Australia R, Kirsten Sweetland of Canada

Emma Jackson of Australia R, Kirsten Sweetland of Canada

An overall view of the Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre during the first session of the ...

An overall view of the Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre during the first session of the ...

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, back left, smiles as she...

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, back left, smiles as she...

Members of England's team compete during the  Men's team pursuit ...

Members of England's team compete during the Men's team pursuit ...

Sophie Taylor of England competes in a Women's 50m Breaststroke heat...

Sophie Taylor of England competes in a Women's 50m Breaststroke heat...

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