Thursday, April 16, 2009

Afghans stone women protesting against rape-law

Last month, Afghanistan passed a law legalsing spousal rape within the country's Shia community. Some Afghan women were unhappy with this, so they did what you do in a democracy and organised a protest. In return, they were stoned:

Afghan women protesting against a new law that severely undermines women's rights were pelted with stones in the country's capital Wednesday, say reports.

About 300 mostly young women gathered in Kabul to show their opposition to a recently passed law that forbids women from refusing to have sex with their husbands and requires them to get a male relative's permission to leave the house.

The demonstration, organized by women's rights activists in the country, occurred in front of a Shia mosque recently built by a cleric who helped craft the law. Critics of the law say it effectively legalizes rape within marriage and is a return to Taliban-style rule.

About 1,000 people opposed to the protest surrounded the women and threw gravel and small stones as police struggled to hold them back. The group of counter-protesters included both men and women.

Again, I have to ask: why are we supporting this? Why are we supporting them? We're propping up Afghanistan's government - the government which passed this law and enables this behaviour - with armed troops. We might as well be propping up the Taliban.