Two short weeks ago, in a speech on International Women’s Day, President Hamid Karzai gave a rousing speech on the need to fight the specter of the institutionalized marginalization, violence, and rape that Afghani women faced during the reign of the Taliban.
In a speech commemorating International Women’s Day on Sunday, President Hamid Karzai challenged Afghan religious leaders to denounce violence against women and reject traditional practices that treat women as property.
“The forced marriages, the selling of women these are against Islam,” Karzai told some 600 women gathered in a high school auditorium in the capital, Kabul.
How quickly things change. Seems Mr. Karzai’s not so sure he’s got the coalition build to support him in the upcoming Presidential election. So, what’s the answer, here? Why, some very disgusting electioneering- by signing the Shiite Personal Status Law.
The law, which has not been publicly released, is believed to state women can only seek work, education or doctor’s appointments with their husband’s permission.
Only fathers and grandfathers are granted custody of children under the law, according to the United Nations Development Fund for Women.
Afghanistan was the place we needed to be fighting and improving while we were mired in Iraq. And now, it’s an even proposition whether or not we can save the country from becoming another failed state. But when stuff like this happens… just makes you think.