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Afghan Ruling Makes Women 'Secondary'

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Afghan Ruling Makes Women 'Secondary'

Post  AnnaEsse on Thu 8 Mar - 18:16

http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16184751

1:32pm UK, Thursday March 08, 2012

Tim Marshall, foreign affairs editor
The Afghan president has been accused of selling out women's rights to placate the Taliban after endorsing a religious edict that makes the country's women second-class citizens.

Hamid Karzai is supporting a ruling by Afghanistan's highest religious authority, which states: "Men are fundamental and women are secondary."

The text of the statement has not been published, but the UN and some Afghan MPs have said the Ulema Council's ruling also states women cannot refuse to have sex with their husbands, should wear full hijab, should respect polygamy, and should not mingle "with strange men in various social activities such as education, in bazaars, in offices and other aspects of life".

If applied, the edicts would make it difficult for women to go to university, or take seats in parliament, they would need their husband's permission to seek work, and would have to be accompanied by a male relative when shopping.

Critics suggest Mr Karzai has supported the statement in a bid to win support from radically conservative elements ahead of a presidential election in August, and also to placate the Taliban ahead of "peace" talks.

The Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organisation said Mr Karzai was trying to strike a balance between receiving foreign aid and "keeping the conservative forces of Afghan society happy".

"In practice, the demands of extremist elements residing in the presidential palace, particularly those in the judicial bodies as well as the Afghan Ulema Council, always outweigh those of the international community," it said.

The timing of the president's support for the measures coincides with a renewed debate in the UK about support for the Afghan campaign following the death of six British soldiers on Tuesday.

One of several reasons the UK committed its military to Afghanistan was to ensure that women's rights were respected.

n the past Mr Karzai has formally outlawed discrimination against women, but a statement on his website supports the Ulema Council's edicts, claiming they "reiterated Islamic principles and values".

This may contradict the Afghan constitution, but as that says laws are underpinned by sharia, religious conservatives can argue that sharia trumps "man-made" laws.

The religious ruling has huge social and possible legal power in Afghanistan. If implemented it would reverse the significant advances made since the Taliban fell in 2001.

The number of girls in education has soared from 5,000 to 2.5 million, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas.

However, research by Oxfam suggests 87% of Afghan women still say they suffer from physical, sexual or psychological abuse, or have been forced into an arranged marriage.

The Ulema's edict allows the beating of women - although it states that "beating women" is prohibited unless there is a "sharia-compliant reason".

For the president to support such statements adds fuel to the fire in the debate about what the Western forces are trying to achieve in Afghanistan.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
"You can run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Sooner or later God'll cut you down." (Johnny Cash)

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Re: Afghan Ruling Makes Women 'Secondary'

Post  Panda on Thu 8 Mar - 20:21



It was the worst choice the Americans could make, appointing Karzai, ten years of War has shown his tenure of Office more pro Taliban than U.S.

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Re: Afghan Ruling Makes Women 'Secondary'

Post  Badboy on Thu 8 Mar - 23:54

MAYBE THE WOMEN SHOULD GO ON STRIKE(SPARTAN STYLE?)

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