Controversial Afghan Law will not be Implemented, Ambassador Says
Afghan Ambassador to the US Said Jawad said this past weekend that a new Shia family law that would severely restrict women's rights signed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai sometime last month will not go into effect.
The Ambassador told Bloomberg that "it will not become the law because it contradicts some important principles of the Afghan constitution." Karzai, according to news sources, signed the bill to court the Hazara vote in the upcoming presidential election.
According to Jawad, Karzai signed the law without being aware of all of its provisions and has sent the likely unconstitutional law to be reviewed by the Afghan Ministry of Justice and the Afghan Supreme Court. Jawad also indicated that the law will not go into effect because President Karzai does not plan to publish it.
According to The Guardian the law contains provisions that would restrict women from leaving their homes, working, going to school, or obtaining medical care without their husbands' permission. The law also includes a provision that women cannot refuse their husbands sex and a provision that grants child custody only to men. Ustad Mohammad Akbari, leader of the Hazara party, told The Guardian that the law gives women the right to refuse sex with their husbands if they are ill or have a "reasonable excuse" and allows women the right to leave their homes without permission in an emergency.
Media Resources: The Guardian 3/31/09; Bloomberg 4/11/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/8/09
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .