Protesting women say no to changes in EVAW law
Using executive power, President Karzai had created the law through a decree in 2009. The draft law, having four chapters and 44 articles, was brought before the lower house earlier this month to cement it with a parliamentary vote to prevent its reversal by any future president.
Among the law’s provisions are measures to criminalise child marriage and ban baad, the traditional practice of selling and buying women to settle disputes. It also criminalises domestic violence and specifies that rape victims should not face charges for fornication.
However, the legislation was withdrawn shortly after being introduced in parliament because of fierce opposition from MPs who said parts of the law were un-Islamic.
On Monday, nearly a hundred women, including civil society activists, staged a protest asking the Wolesi Jirga to approve the law without any changes to it. They chanted slogans like “don’t trade away women’s rights” and “we oppose amendments to EVAW law.”
“We don’t want changes in the law and want its immediate approval by Wolesi Jirga,” one of the protesters, Tamanna Hela, told Pajhwok Afghan News. Women should not be deprived of their rights, she added.
The protesting women issued a five-article resolution letter, saying the rights of male and female were equal under the national constitution that allowed women to benefit from their rights, privileges and duties.
The letter asked the international community to take necessary measures to ensure women’s rights were protected in Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, hundreds of Kabul University students staged a protest, demanding the repeal of the presidential decree for women's rights they said was un-Islamic.
The protesters had warned of continued and violent protests if the parliament approved the law. Carrying back, white and green flags, they even said they would join the Taliban and resort to uprising against the government if the law was not repealed in the parliament.
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