>Afghan law legalizes rape?

>Yes, according to human rights groups who are criticizing a law that was passed by the parliament and signed into law by President Harmid Karzai.

According to a report by the AP:

The law — which some lawmakers say was never debated in parliament — is intended to regulate family life inside Afghanistan’s Shiite community, which makes up about 20 percent of this country of 30 million people. The law does not affect Afghan Sunnis.
One of the most controversial articles stipulates the wife “is bound to preen for her husband as and when he desires.”
“As long as the husband is not traveling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night,” Article 132 of the law says. “Unless the wife is ill or has any kind of illness that intercourse could aggravate, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband.”
One provision also appears to protect the woman’s right to sex inside marriage saying the “man should not avoid having sexual relations with his wife longer than once every four months.”

The legislation has come under fire from western countries, namely the U.S. and Canada. Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay said he will put “direct” pressure on the Afghan government to abandon the legislation during this week’s NATO summit. U.S. Defense Department spokesperson Robert Wood said the U.S. is “very concerned about the legislation.

Not to sound like a radical feminist, but this does legalize rape. Regulating when a woman can and will have sex with her husband not only restricts her inalienable right to liberty and security, it also forces the government into the homes and bedrooms of its laymen and woman.

Already under the threat of being attacked when making their way to school and work, women in Afghanistan should not be subjected to terror and intimidation at the hands of their husbands by way of their government. No society can expect to thrive when it continuously subjects a segment of its population into submission and second-class citizenship.

And this is exactly what the Afghanistan parliament is doing. This type of reactionary legislation will only lead to further alienation of the Afghan government and people from the rest of the world. President Karzai should be ashamed of himself for not standing up and protecting the rights of women like his mother. Karzai’s lack of leadership in the past seven years has been nothing short of shame and embarrassment for the Afghan people. Women and girls are routinely devalued and relegated to the back of the ranks in Afghanistan and the toppling of the Taliban government has not changed the plight of nearly half of the country’s population.

But, I guess the threat of losing his power as the country’s “figurehead” is more important than ensuring ALL his citizens have equal access and protection under the law.