There are reports coming in that Afghan women were stoned with gravel and small rock pellets at a protest against marriage laws in Kabul Wednesday.
About 300 women protesting the new marriage law in Kabul were attacked by 1,000 Afghans on Wednesday. The women were stoned by the mob as the police tried to separate the two groups.
The new law allows a man to demand to have sex with his wife every four days unless she is ill or would be harmed by intercourse. The new law also says when and why a wife is allowed to leave her own home alone.
The new law would apply only to the country’s Shiites but many groups fear that it will start a return to the Taliban oppression that women suffered from 1996-2001.
The world has been reacting to the new laws that deal with marital relations, divorce, inheritance and family matters for the country’s Shia Muslim minority. Some critics have said that the new revisions are even stricter than those in place when the Taliban regime was in power.
The Telegraph reports that organizers had called on Afghan women to “join us strongly to reach our voice to all over the world”, but found themselves outnumbered by vocal and angry opponents.
The protest on Wednesday scheduled by Women’s right activists was mostly attended by young women. The larger crowd was comprised of both men and women who shouted to drown out the chants of the women’s protest.
The New York Daily News reports:
“You are a dog! You are not a Shiite woman!” one man shouted to a young woman in a headscarf holding aloft a banner that said, “We don’t want Taliban law.” The woman did not shout back at the man, but told him: “This is my land and my people.”
Many of those who wanted to be part of the protest were blocked by men who refused to allow them to pass.
Female MPs have said that the law passed with very little discuss or debate in parliament after a few Shia MPs championed the cause.
News 24 reports:
The government of President Hamid Karzai has said the Shi-ite family law is being reviewed by the Justice Department and will not be implemented in its current form. Governments and rights groups around the world have condemned the legislation, and President Barack Obama has labelled it “abhorrent”.
Shia religious leaders have defended the ruling and are angry about what they call Western meddling. The Shia population in Afghanistan make up 10 to 20% of the 30 million citizens.