Back in April, after a rare mass-protest by Afghan women and particularly forceful international pressure, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai agreed to review the Shiite Personal Status Law that reportedly would have “forbid[den] women to refuse to have sex with their husbands and force[d] them to get their spouses’ permission before leaving the house, looking for a job, going to the doctor or receiving education.” But last week Human Rights Watch revealved that a final version of the law, which was reviewed by HRW as published in the official Gazette on July 27, 2009, retains many of the regressive and oppressive articles that were the source of international outrage to begin with:
“The law gives a husband the right to withdraw basic maintenance from his wife, including food, if she refuses to obey his sexual demands. It grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers. It requires women to get permission from their husbands to work. It also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying “blood money” to a girl who was injured when he raped her.”
Earlier today, the Times posted a Lede entry with a pretty inflammatory headline that includes some interesting videos showing interviews by Al Jazeera with some Shiite women who endorsed the original articles.
To all my Afghan women: it’s time to listen to rapper-ternt-family movie star Queen Latifah and tell these guys to cut it out. In her early ’90s hit classic, “U.N.I.T.Y.,” Queen Latifah brings the positive message to females everywhere that it’s simply not OK to let men belittle you, call you a “bitch” or a “ho,” or smack your ass (without permission). I think that starvation as retaliation for lack of sex might fall into that category of “unacceptable” behavior as well, but maybe that’s just me. Two lines really struck me as appropriate for today. The first, “I’m not your personal whore,” could rightly be said to apply to the Afghan women here. The second, “I had my cut-off shorts on, right, ’cause it was crazy hot” goes out to all the people, male or female, who are sweating it out in this humid hotness that has finally descended on the city.
But back to the message: Women of the world, UNITE.
Queen Latifah – U.N.I.T.Y.: