Afghani Stoning Law Punishes Women who commit Adultery

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?

Source: Telegraph



  1. I believe that this notion of stoning women is a totally barbaric and disgusting, but unfortunately it is not shocking. It is well known that Middle Eastern nations harbor a double standard in terms of women and adultery. Middle Eastern men are allowed to frolic and do as they wish treating their female counterparts harshly with utter disrespect and disregard. But women at the mere inference of infidelity are subjected to public humiliation and at times death. What is shocking is that the blind eye that the international community turns to this. Acts like this that are approved by the government by accession initially but now legislation should be harshly penalized. Simply put, this is not okay. Women should not be treated in this manner, regardless of the fact that they were unfaithful. Sanctions ought to be taken against Afghanistan until the government displays a firm disdain to acts of overt violence against their women.

  2. I strongly believe that what the Afghan government is doing is wrong. Not even batting an eye at the obvious discrimination against women going on in their country. As democracy tries to grow in Afghanistan, a key indicator of how well democracy is growing is the treatment and the rights of women. After U.S. involvement for 12 years trying to foster democracy it seems like a mixed result, which is not what we envisioned. However, the problem here is cultural. The Afghan people live in today’s standards in a “primitive” society with little infrastructure base. As we condemn the Afghan government for letting this continue and not changing their ways, their way of life is dominated by religion, which has always been paternalistic. As foreigners to Afghanistan, I find it hard for our message to change their ways to be heard since Afghanistan is mostly isolated and gives little value and trust to foreign influences. However, maybe as the seeds of democracy grow into the future, they will realize that stoning and other policies that are discriminatory to women are wrong and will change their policies and more importantly their general view on women.

  3. I agree with my colleagues. This law is barbaric and inhumane. It is true that there is certainly a double standard in Middle Eastern countries when it comes to adultery amongst men and women. In Middle Eastern countries, men are entitled to have many affairs and are often revered or adored it they do. Women on the other hand are severely punished. I do not think that adultery is acceptable by any person; however, if it happens I do not think a person should be publicly stoned. Especially in a country that looks up to men who have many wives and accepts it as part of their culture, I think adultery then, should be tolerated even more. Although I do not believe there is an inherent human right to commit adultery, I do not believe such a backwards law, like public stoning, is a positive solution. A better solution would be to condemn adultery amongst all persons and abolish the double standard.

  4. I think it goes without saying that the Afghan government is blatantly disregarding basic human rights to these women, and sadly this seems like a huge step back for the country. The idea of stoning for adultery is particularly offensive to the Western world because we believe that such acts are based in religion, and, as such, are private, domestic matters that should be completely beyond the reach of government. However, the proposed law is still untenable, even if we were to accept a world with such government intrusion into religious matters (as it seems that the two, at this point is time, are indivisible in much of the Middle East). There is nothing tolerable about the law. The punishment for women is horrific. Most likely there is absolutely no punishment for men whatsoever. Of course, the punishment would not be “okay” if men received the same sentence. If Afghanistan refuses to separate religion from government regulation, it should at least reduce the punishment for something that actually fits the “crime,” and it should treat men and women the same. Unfortunately, even these modest concessions seem nothing more than a pipe dream at this time.

  5. Stoning, as a form of punishment has been used by many international countries for years. However, the thought of others throwing stones at a person for committing a crime is outrageous. Although adultery may be seen as a crime in Afghanistan, it does not warrant the idea of being pelted with stones. This method is so outdated and inhumane. Furthermore, the concept that this nearly drafted law will only apply to women is highly unbalanced. If this is going to be a newfound law of the country, it should be equally administered to both men and women. Women are already seen to be inferior in these countries and are given scarcely any rights as compared to men. The concept that a law like this is even being considered as becoming concrete shows how much the mindset of the Afghanistan government has not changed. This type of punishment should not be condoned and the law should not be permitted.

  6. The law allowing the stoning of women who commit adultery is but one of the horrendous practices that the Muslim Brotherhood practices and preaches against women specifically. There have been reports of women being stoned for “adultery” even in cases where their “adulterous acts” occurred as a result of rape. Men that are members of this organization become members of the Afghan government and are affecting countrywide laws. This barbaric digression from currently recognized international human rights practices is heartbreaking. It makes me sick to realize that this state sponsored oppression has majority support in a country. I hope that human rights groups and the International Human Rights Court can put a stop to this horror and punish the men who are responsible.

  7. I share the same feelings and views as those who have shared their thoughts on this subject above me. Simply put this is just ridiculous. The idea that stoning can be used as a form of punishment in today’s day and age is absurd. Such barbaric and disgusting actions are not necessary. In addition, I believe the punishment does not fit the crime. I understand that adultery is a crime in Afghanistan, however, the idea that stoning is the right form of punishment for it is not justified. Furthermore, the fact that this punishment is only for women makes it even more wrong. It’s bad enough that women in these countries have fewer rights than men. This stoning law widens that gap even further. This truly shows you that the government of Afghanistan has a long way to go for positive changes to be made. Like those above me have stated, this law blatantly disregards human (women’s) rights, is barbaric, outdated, and should not be permitted.

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