About That Afghan Law…

Apr 7, 2009 3:52pm

Globe-trotting ABC News correspondent Nick Schifrin writes to tell us more about that woman-oppressing Afghan law President Karzai signed two weeks ago, which the Afghan justice ministry said today it is reviewing.

Karzai’s spokesman says until the ministry approves the law, which was quietly signed late last month, it will not be enforced.

Here are the relevant portions of the the law as translated by a Western embassay in Kabul.

Article 132
(3) The couple should not commit acts that create hatred and bitterness in their relationship, The wife is bound to preen for her husband, as and when he desires.
(4) The husband, except when traveling or ill, is bound to have intercourse with his wife every night in four nights. The wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband.
(7) The wife is bound to perform household works only if it was put down as a condition in the marriage document, otherwise, wife is not bound to performing household chores.
 
Article 133
(1) Husband is responsible for the family maintenance (financially), unless this right is given to the wife due to husband’s mental disorder or a decision of the court.
(2) If the wife was a working woman before marriage, and the marriage document does not condition her to stop working, the husband cannot stop her from work, unless her work affects the interest of the family or the position of either wife or husband in a negative way.
(3) Husband can stop the wife from any unnecessary, unIslamic act.
(4) Wife cannot leave the house without the permission of the husband, unless due to any serious pressure or difficulty and to address that.
 
Article 177
(1) The husband is bound to provide maintenance to his wife.
(2) The wife does not have the right to the provision of maintenance by the husband unless she agrees to have intercourse with him and he gets an opportunity for doing so.
(4) Obedience, readiness for intercourse and not leaving the house without the permission of the husband are the duties of the wife, violation of every one of them will mean disobedience to the husband.

President Obama, as you may recall, called the law abhorrent but suggested it wouldn’t change the mission in Afghanistan.

– jpt

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