Afghan Women Protest Against New Law as Violation of Women's Rights
Friday, April 17, 2009 12:26 PM

On April 15th, 2009, about 200 Afghan women marched two miles to Parliament in Kabul protesting the new law violating women’s rights. The law, signed by President Hamid Karzai in March, obliges a wife to submit to her husband’s sexual demands and restricts her from leaving the home without her husband’s permission, among other provisions. 


This event was the first public demonstration protesting the new law, and was met by almost 1,000 counter-protesters, some of whom threw rocks at the protesting women. The counter-protesters, comprised of both men and women who support the new law, accuse those against the law to be “enemies of Islam”.


President Karzai, who is now under intense international scrutiny, stated that the law is still being reviewed and will not be effective until it has been published in the government’s official registrar.


Many media articles and women's groups commended the protest as a courageous and significant step in opposition to the law and a demonstration of the strength and unity of Afghan women and their fight for equality. Women activists are planning on another protest for April 18th at the presidential palace, calling for an amendment to the law.


Compiled from: Esfandiari, Golnaz, Afghan Women Protest Against Discriminatory Law, Radio Free Europe, 17 April 2009; Afghan Women Protesting Marriage Law are Pelted with Rocks, Los Angles Times, 15 April 2009; Filkins, Dexter, Afghan Women Protest New Law on Home Life, New York Times, 16 April 2009.