Fuck Me or Starve

[Strong trigger warning.]

In March, I wrote about a proposed law in Afghanistan which would have legalized marital rape, among other injustices. After international uproar, Afghan officials promised the the law would be revised before passage.

Not so much.
Afghanistan has quietly passed a law permitting Shia men to deny their wives food and sustenance if they refuse to obey their husbands' sexual demands, despite international outrage over an earlier version of the legislation which President Hamid Karzai had promised to review.

The new final draft of the legislation also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work.

"It also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying 'blood money' to a girl who was injured when he raped her," the US charity Human Rights Watch said.

...Islamic law experts and human rights activists say that although the language of the original law has been changed, many of the provisions that alarmed women's rights groups remain, including this one: "Tamkeen is the readiness of the wife to submit to her husband's reasonable sexual enjoyment, and her prohibition from going out of the house, except in extreme circumstances, without her husband's permission. If any of the above provisions are not followed by the wife she is considered disobedient."
This is a profoundly cynical attempt by Karzai to try to secure the fundamentalist (male) vote ahead of a hotly contested election. He is, ostensibly, our ally.

Contact the US State Department and politely request swift action.

In case anyone needs some help with what might be an appropriate letter...

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I have recently become aware of the new law in Afghanistan which permits Shia men to deny their wives sustenance if they refuse submit sexually, denies mothers legal guardianship of their children, allows rapists to pay off their victims, and in other ways severely diminishes the lives of Afghan women. As I am aware of and resoundingly support your emphasis on the rights of women worldwide, I am hopeful that there will be a swift response to this appalling legislation, and I strongly encourage you to take a bold stance on behalf of the women of Afghanistan.

Best regards...

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