According to the Afghan President,beating wives is the “law of all Muslims and all Afghans.” Hamid Karzai, president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, has endorsed the nation’s Ulema Council’s ruling in accordance with Islamic Sharia Law that approves of wife beating and the forced segregation of the sexes. Prior to the US-led invasion of 2001, the Taliban government condoned family members who adhered to these violations and/or civilly imprisoned, tortured or executed women for the following violations of Sharia Law:
- Refusing an arranged marriage
- Females over the age of 8 not receiving an education
- Appearing in the streets without a male blood relative
- Wearing high-heeled shoes as no man should hear a woman’s footsteps lest it excite him.
- All ground and first floor residential windows should be painted over or screened to prevent women being visible from the street.
- Forbidding women to appear on the balconies of their apartments or houses.
- Banning women from riding bicycles or motorcycles, even with male escorts.
All over the Islamic world, women are being discriminated against and forced to follow laws which are only being applied to them because of their gender. Throughout the region, one of the most troubling issues is “honor crimes,” or the killing of a wife or female family member for alleged sexual misconduct. While these accusations require little evidence, the honor crimes themselves are rarely investigated or prosecuted. Many women in these countries also battle domestic violence, which is not considered illegal in much of the region, and lack access to education. Despite all of the problems and controversies that occur in the United States today, we as woman should be incredibly grateful to be able to wake up every day and pursue our dreams without fear of punishment.
– Megan Mulvaney