The Law on Elimination of Violence against Women blocked in Afghanistan

May 20, 2013 12:46 IST

Afghanistan Parliament on 19 May 2013 blocked law aimed at strengthening provisions for women's freedom. The Parliament argued that parts of the law violated Islamic principles and encouraged disobedience.

In fact, the Law on Elimination of Violence against women is in force since 2009, but only by Presidential decree. The law was now presented in the parliament to get its approval so that in future no president could repeal it to satisfy the wishes of orthodox religious parties.

The Features of Law
• The law criminalizes child marriage and forced marriage.
• It bans baad, the traditional practice of selling and buying women to settle disputes.
• It also makes domestic violence a crime punishable by up to three years and specifies that rape victims should not face criminal charges for fornication or adultery.

The Taliban while in power imposed a strict interpretation of Islam that put severe restrictions on the freedom of women. Taliban even banned women from working and going to school, or even leaving home without a male relative. In public, all women were forced wear a head-to-toe burqa, which even covered the face. Violators faced public flogging or execution.

Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, women's freedoms have shown improvement, but Afghanistan still exhibits conservative culture, mainly in rural areas. As per the UN analysis in late 2011, only a small percentage of reported crimes against women were taken into consideration by the Afghan government. Between March 2010 and March 2011 only 7 percent of the total number of crimes reported.

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Read more Current Affairs on: Violence against women , Afghanistan , rape victims

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