I wrote about the new law that recently past in Afghanistan a few weeks ago. Apparently this new law, which legalizes rape in marriage and requires a woman to have her husband’s permission before leaving the house, is now under review. Days after a prominent women’s rights advocate was murdered, 300 women Afghan women took to the streets to protest this new law. Approximately 1000 people (both men and women) surrounded the protesters and hurled rocks, stones and insults at them. A group of female police officers held hands creating a protective circle around the women.
Don’t get me wrong- marital rape is wrong is by all means should be illegal…and Afghanistan has it’s problems, but the criminal code in Canada was only changed to include marital rape as a criminal offense in 1983… a mere 25 years ago. This isn’t sending anyone back into the dark ages, unfortunately. Apprarently, Oklahoma just made marital rape illegal this year. Our outrage is legitimate, but us westerners are by no means any more “civilized” or “more advanced”.
What moves me (besides the fact that I can’t believe that women are still treated worse than animals) is the courage of the protesters…just 300 of them, surrounded by haters, throwing rocks. That takes courage. Serious courage. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around what that must be like…physical (and institutionalized) violence standing between you and your rights to live as a free person. Much like human trafficking, this is a form of modern slavery.