In a rare demonstration, 300 women marched in Kabul to protest a new law that legalized marital rape and restricts the ability of women to leave their homes. Over three times the number of counter-demonstrators formed in response and showered the women with stones. Some reportedly shouted “Death to the slaves of the Christians.”
Kabul has always been the most free city for women, who are seeing a return to Taliban policies by the U.S. back government and the imposition of Sharia law. The women were called “dogs” and disgraces to Shia culture for the demonstration.
Women in the Middle East continue to struggle with horrific restrictions and repression. Notably, there were many women in the counter-demonstration calling these demonstrators dogs. Even in Israel, women have faced violence in their opposition to orthodox restrictions in praying at the wall and separation of the sex, here and here. Notably, both groups of women who have been attacked are religious, but object to the extreme limitation placed on them. The Afghan law, however, has galvanized the world with its shocking endorsement of marital rape. Even though President Hamid Karzai had no qualms signing the law, he has agreed to review the law and possibly delete the offensive language rather countries like Canada threatened to withdraw their support (and their troops).
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