The Afghan parliament is revising the country’s marriage law, and not in woman-friendly ways, according to AlterNet:
The Afghan parliament is expected to soon approve revisions to its marriage law that will do very little in the way of improving women’s rights. Despite recent demands that the country radically rework its policies on issues such as polygamy and a woman’s right to work, Afghanistan’s government is signaling a continued adherence to regressive traditions.
In a recent letter to Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, activists said, “slight changes in the wordings of the law, rather than changes in content,” have rendered the revisions ineffectual.
Additionally, Shinkai Kharokhel, a lawmaker involved in the legislation, told the Associated Press on July 14 that the law’s revisions do little more than uphold structural inequalities in the country. She said many Afghan women “are illiterate, and they don’t have financial security and no one will give her money … shelter, medical, food, all these expenses belong to the man, and he can hold that back.”
What is perhaps most unfortunate among the “revisions” is the Afghan government’s failure to erase a law that calls on women to engage in sex with their husbands at least every four days. Although the proposed revisions do eliminate a time frame for sexual requirements, they still allow a man to withhold financial support for his wife if she refuses to “submit to her husband’s reasonable sexual enjoyment,” Human Rights Watch has reported.
“[...] submit to her husband’s reasonable sexual enjoyment”?
That’s grim stuff. Here’s hoping MP Kharokhel and other progressive MPs make more of a dent in this law.
While we’re on the topic of misogyny and sexism, my landlord busted out the following gem two nights ago when I complained about sexual harassment of women on the streets of my city.
“You know the Bloodhound Gang song ‘Street Legal Whore’? Well, that describes most women your age. Take it [the harassment] as a compliment. Pretty soon you’ll be too old for it.”
Needless to say, I’m moving out at the end of the summer. I’d move out sooner, but can’t afford to.
(Oh, and that foul Bloodhound Gang song is actually titled “I’m the Least You Could Do.”)
I have nothing but contempt for Jeff Sessions.
Via Human Rights Now:
Yesterday the Senate passed four amendments to the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, including a provision that would allow the death penalty to apply to hate crimes. This amendment, added by Senator Jeff Sessions, R, AL (a vocal opponent of the Act itself), adds nothing to the justice the bill seeks for victims of gender and sexuality-based hate crimes.
The point Sessions was trying to convey is something like “If you’re going to pass legislation that discourages people from committing crimes against members of groups I resent the very existence of, I’m going to bundle that legislation with a big, fat human rights violation! How’d ya like that?”
My mind, it boggles.
My ex-boyfriend and I are going to see Afghan Star this weekend. I’m excited. Here’s the trailer.