Afghan Parliament Blocks Violence Against Women Law

A vote on the Elimination of Violence against Women law a was delayed by the Speaker of the Lower house of Afghan Parliament this past Saturday.

Conservative members of Parliament (MPs) were in opposition against the measure, claiming it un-Islamic. Even though the EVAW law was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, women’s rights activist Fawzia Kofi, who also heads the women’s committee of the Lower House, moved forward to introduce the EVAW in Parliament.

TOLO News reports, “The parliamentarians opposing the law call 6 of its articles to be against Islamic values.” The articles include criminalizing child marriage and forced marriage, banning the traditional “BAAD” practice of exchanging girls and girls and women to settle disputes between families, making domestic violence punishable up to three years in prison, protecting rape victims from prosecution for adultery or fornication, limiting the number of wives a man can have to two, and established shelters for battered women.

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