Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Afghan women protest new law that restricts their rights

From the NY Times:

About 300 Afghan women, facing an angry throng three times that number, walked the streets of the capital on Wednesday to demand that Parliament repeal a new law that introduces a range of Taliban-like restrictions on women, and permits, among other things, marital rape.

It was an extraordinary scene. Women are mostly illiterate in this impoverished country, and they do not, generally speaking, enjoy anything near the freedom accorded to men. But there they were, most of them young, many in jeans, defying a threatening crowd and calling out slogans heavy with meaning.

This new law has three provisions that are especially upsetting: women cannot refuse sexual advances from men, women must have permission from their husbands before they can go to school or work outside the home, and women must dress up and wear make up if her husband wants her to.

President Hamid Karzai, who signed the bill into law, is looking for a way to have these provisions removed.

This is such an incredible example of global feminism and I'm thrilled that it made the front page of the NY Times.

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