A law that permits the stoning of adulterous women is being drafted by a working group led by the justice of ministry in Afghanistan, which threatens to further usurp the freedoms of women within that country. Women who are not married and run away with another man can be subject to 100 lashes, while a married woman can be subject to a public stoning. This is invariably a step back in Afghanistan’s history, reminiscent of the time where the Taliban ruled over the country and allowed public stoning and outward violence against women for going against their laws. Violence against women has been prominent because of strict traditional and tribal approaches in regards to women’s rights, which encourage violence. This way of thinking bleeds into government entities and law makers, so much so that the Afghan parliament refrained from endorsing a law which aimed at eliminating violence against women.
Laws like this are an utter travesty because they subvert basic human rights that every woman and man should be entitled to. While countries do have the right to stick to tradition, they are disallowing their people from realizing their true potential and preventing them from exercising their free will. Laws like this show that Afghanistan is less likely to adapt and evolve with the changing times and help their citizens do what they want. Deviation from tradition does not always result into anarchy, it can lead to a more content populous that is able to fulfill their dreams and ambitions. Furthermore, this is state sponsored oppression, which, in any scenario, is ill advised. Not only has the parliament failed to enact laws that protect women from violence in the past, they have actively pursued women for committing adultery. While the article says nothing about men, I believe that their punishment would be nothing compared to the women. The rampant sexism, misogyny and blatant disregard for women’s rights shows that Afghanistan is feigning change and is not ready to let go of control that they have over women.
Do you believe that women should suffer such severe punishment for adultery? How should the punishment for men compare? Do you believe that Afghanistan is subverting the rights of women?