This article argues that social norms, more so than Islamic law, limit Afghan women’s access to economic resources and that to understand the economic future of Afghan women, one must understand the interaction of social norms and Islamic law. Sec 2 of the article analyzes the Islamic laws on inheritance, dower and marriage and determines that Islamic law grants women rights to certain types of wealth. Section 3 then examines the social norms that limit the economic rights to inheritance, dower and marriage found in Islamic Law.
The publication presents perspectives from a number of countries including Afghanistan reflecting the idea that women’s land, property and housing rights require treatment within a broad human rights framework and that women’s status and condition, as well as their experience of violence, is intimately connected with their ability to exercise fundamental socio-economic and cultural rights. The contribution from Afghanistan in particular suggests the interconnections between women’s rights to land and property and women’s socio-economic status.
This controversial Shia personal status law, published in the country’s official Gazette (Gazette 988), regulates the personal affairs of Afghanistan’s Shia population. It regulates divorce and separation, inheritance, and age of marriage.
This groundbreaking collection traces the history of women's rights and roles in Afghanistan over the past 30 years; it examines the current human rights crisis, and suggests realistic solutions for post-war Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is one of the case studies in this report which provides an assessment of the nature of women’s property rights in regions affected by conflict. The report reviews property rights programmes funded by donors in post conflict situations and teases out major policy and programmatic lessons. It also examines the importance of land rights and the status of women in societies that have strong customary norms and practices relating to land. Keywords: Afghanistan, conflict, customary norms.
This section explains that although inheritance laws in Afghanistan based on the Shariah assigns women precisely defined shares of an estate according to detailed genealogical consideration, local custom supersedes these laws, to the effect that women with exceptions are not considered heirs. Women are considered part of a man’s estate rather than heirs.
Land and livestock are considered to be key assets for rural livelihoods, yet little is known about the factors that enable or constrain different women’s access to these, what ownership mean in practice nor about women who come forward to claim these rights. This study of rural villages Badakshan, Bamiyan and Kabul province sought to examine these issues in greater depth. The findings show that while women in the study villages (who represented a range of religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds) have a great deal of involvement in agriculture, few own land or livestock themselves.