The rights of women and girls, including freedom from child marriage and domestic violence, have generated emotionally charged debates in Afghanistan over the past decade. Such debates often focus on personal opinions and experiences, or on the varied interpretations of religious teachings on marriage. This brochure provides basic facts about the impact of child marriage and domestic violence on the lives of Afghan girls and women, and on the broader economic development of the country. At the end, we provide recommendations for needed reform.
TUNIS — MOHAMED BRAHMI, the left-wing politician who was assassinated outside his home here last Thursday, was born in Sidi Bouzid, the same town where a desperate fruit vendor set himself on fire in December 2010, triggering the Tunisian revolution — and the Arab Spring.
It all started with chicken curry, a delicacy her daughter loved. One fateful day 11 years ago, when Farhana Parveen carefully picked out small pieces from the chicken curry for her daughter, her husband was offended. Pregnant with her third child, Farhana had cooked a lavish meal for her in-laws and family. “I made five kilos of chicken curry along with biryani and some ten other items. But when my husband saw me feeding my daughter, he asked me why I had not given it to his mother instead. I was accused of being partial to my children,” says Farhana. The next morning, Salim left the house with his mother after uttering that dreaded word three times: “Talaq Talaq Talaq”.
The concept of wilaya (guardianship over women) is key to discrimination against women. Debates over different interpretations of guardianship under Muslim law ultimately fail to address the key premises underlying hegemonic notions of masculinity and femininity and the institutions that propagate them argues Afaf Jabiri.
In the Middle East and North Africa region, there is a large and growing number of stateless individuals, i.e. those who do not possess nationality due to various reasons such as stateless parents, failure to register for citizenship, and gender discriminatory laws. Because these individuals lack documentation linking them to the state in which they live, they are deprived of the rights that a national would enjoy, such as the issuing of birth and marriage certificates as well as schooling and work. The situation worsens when gender discriminatory laws and custom reproduce statelessness in new generations, who are unable to practice their agency and pursue their ambitions. A new report examines the relationship between gender discrimination and statelessness in the Middle East.
Bangladesh has followed India and Pakistan as the third South Asian country to elect a woman as parliament speaker, defying a threat by the Hefajat-e-Islam organisation, which warned the government not to promote women.
Hardline students protested in Afghanistan's capital, demanding the repeal of a presidential decree for women's rights that they say is un-Islamic. The protest came days after conservative politicians' vehement opposition blocked an attempt to cement the decree's provisions in law.