Afghan women are pelted by rocks at protest
A couple of days ago, I wrote a passionate entry stating my opposition to the Canadian government’s involvement in Afghanistan. It was in response to their new laws that make it impossible for women to refuse sex from their husbands, as well as making women eligible for marriage immediately following menstruation. As far as I’m concerned, these two laws alone make both rape and sexual abuse to children legal.
Yesterday, about 300 Afghan women protested these laws, and for their bravery, they were pelted with stones. Police had to hold back the angry mob that accused the women of being ‘slaves to Christians’ and for not being ‘proper Shia women’.
The law as it’s written is only for the minority Shia community, but it would appear few native Afghans consider the issue important. In a way I can’t blame them; the country is a mess, and there are probably many who feel laws of this nature are not a huge concern.
I’m relieved the violence didn’t escalate any further, but it would be naive to assume this issue resolved. What usually scares me is the people who agitate for equal rights are usually met by people who physically crush all opposition. To say these women are in danger for holding their beliefs is an understatement.
Many Muslims feel attitudes of gender equality is a form of Western oppression, and I have no doubt these opposing world views will continue to be a great source of friction. It would appear we cannot force individuals to take the rights of women seriously, and that’s a very frightening reality.