Karzai, his "Rape Law", and the flip-flops on women rights
Provisions of 'The Shia Personal Status Law', better known as "Karzai's Rape Law":
Article 132: "It is the responsibility of the wife to prepare for sexual satisfaction of her husband and as long as the husband is not traveling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night..Unless the wife is ill or has any kind of illness that intercourse could aggravate, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband..".Article 133: " A wife cannot leave the house without the permission of the husband, unless in a medical or other emergency..".
Karzai's Chaplinesque tragi-comedies of Flip-Flops:
Karazi on March 31, 2009: “I've read the Law..We understand the concerns of our allies..Those concerns may be out of inappropriate or not-so-good translation of the law or a misinterpretation of it..”.
Karzai on April 27th, 2009: "..When the law was signed, I was not aware of the articles. I became aware later that some of the articles were unacceptable..I'm sorry, I did not know all the contents of the law..".
In other words, he read the Law, but didn't read the Articles?!!
"I remember you...
when you finally will rise and stand on your feet!
and say " No! I will not stand for anymore defeat!"
you will break the chains, burn the veil and destroy the walls!
you will scream with all your might "Damn you all!"
Dr. Zieba Shorish-Shamley.
President Karzi's deliberate signing of the "Rape Law" and the subsequent flip-flops are yet another manifestation of the continuous denials of the injustices, oppression and extent of violence that Afghan women are facing these days. There is no secret that one of the biggest impediments for Afghans in particular, and Afghan society in general, to overcome the current pathetic Afghan socio-ethical conditions is precisely the systematic negations of Afghan women's God given rights.
In the aftermath of fanatic Taliban's demise, and despite the barrage of futile attempts by, blinded by the realities on the ground, American Feminist Majority and some pseudo Afghan Feminists to portray Afghan women as identical to their Western counterparts: liberal, and fully aware of their rights and places in the society, the truth is otherwise: In the backward, 3rd World rural Afghanistan[Read: Afghanistan, not Kabul and Rural not Urban] Afghan women continue to be hidden and submissive, imprisoned in a male dominated Afghan society where women are denied education, health, or any rights or sayings on their own lives, forced to marry as young as the age of 10, and outside "Urban" Kabul, are rarely being seen in public. It's therefore a great disservice to rural Afghans to propagate that Kabul equals Afghanistan (a common trend amongst Afghan intelligentsia in Diaspora). Afghanistan had never been Kabul, and most of rural Afghanistan is still deeply plagued in medieval superstitions, tribal-feudalism, and male-chauvinism.The empowering of women in Afghanistan must not be focused on some pseudo Feminist agenda of the urban elite-Kabuli women entering into the national government, simply liberating women from Burqa, or ensuring them a university education at Kabul University. What about the rest of Afghanistan? Is access to government jobs, freedom from Buqa also next on the agendas of rural Afghan women? The most immediate agendas of rural Afghan women are perhaps making some naan/bread to feed their starving children, immediately sheltering from strangers, never having the opportunity to gain an education, never leaving home without a male companion, and the unconditional obedience to their men.
I'm of strong convictions that it is high time for Afghans to stop blaming everyone else for their own self-inflicted miseries and afflictions. It's also high time for Afghans to truly look deep within themselves in search of true meanings of their Afghaniyat/Afghan-hood moralities and values. The liberalization of Afghan women from the prison of cultural and religious shackling which had long been imposed by chauvinist Mullahs/Clerics and male dominated Afghan society can only be achieved by Afghans themselves through their tireless and unyielding combating against religious obscurantism and Mullah-cracy in Afghanistan. Establishing the favorable economic conditions for impoverished Afghan women, with or without their Burqas, to participate in and benefit from it, must be the fundamental cornerstone of any attempts for the emancipation of "Rural" Afghan women. Otherwise, any and all attempts for emancipation of Afghan women will continue to remain as unfulfilled dreams.