Monday, April 6, 2009

Another Setback for Afghan Women

We all remember the stories that emerged soon after the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was removed from power. Women forced to wear burqas, unable to leave their homes unless escorted by a male relative. Women denied basic health care, even anesthetic for c-sections. Young girls forbidden to attend school.

Conversely, a photographic essay published a year after US troops came to Afghanistan loudly intimated, "THESE WOMEN ARE NOW FREE." I distinctly remember seeing photographs of Afghan women wearing high heals and makeup in TIME magazine. Somehow, the spikes and eye shadow were supposed to convince the world that equal rights had arrived to the country.

Today's news, then, was nothing short of distressing. Today, a law was passed in Afghanistan that gives husbands express permission to essentially rape their wives. Consent on the part of the wife was deemed unnecessary. Originally crafted to give the Shiite community it's own freedoms and identity, the clause on permissible, state sanctioned rape is drawing international scrutiny.

You can read the article here.

President Obama has called the law "abhorrent." E-mail him here to express your own abhorrence and support of the US governments intense opposition to this law.

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