The Pakistani parliament will consider and likely approve a bill that would ease overly strict restrictions applied under Islamic law that make it nearly impossible to prove a woman has been raped. Under the Hadood Ordinance, developed by the former dictator Gen. Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq in 1979, rape victims are convicted of adultery unless they have four male witnesses, which human rights groups say makes a rape conviction impossible.
The amendment, if passed, will erase that onerous requirement and require instead that anyone who accuses a woman of adultery produce four witnesses, according to . In addition, forced marriage and kidnapping, as well as trafficking women for prostitution, will be more thoroughly addressed. Those convicted of gang-rape will be sentenced to death and it will be a crime to publish the address of a rape victim, reports Reuters.
Mahnaz Rafi, chairwoman of the Pakistani Parliament’s special committee for women's development, said, “This will be a historic change and it will end decades of miseries for women,” reports the Associated Press. Naeem Mizra, director of the non-profit Aurat Foundation, added, “The amendments proposed by the government shatter a myth held for 27 years that Hudood laws are divine laws,” according to Reuters.
Media Resources: All Headline News 8/1/06; Associated Press 8/1/06; Feminist Daily News Wire 7/11/06; Reuters 8/2/06
9/29/2014 Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In - Ashraf Ghani, who has has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.
Over 1000 national and international guests attended the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the United Nations and 34 countries, including a delegation from the United States. . . .