Den nye loven i Afghanistan som gjør kvinner i shia-ekteskap helt uten selvbestemmelse vil bli endret. Det lovte president Hamid Karazai på en pressekonferanse mandag.

At a press conference in Kabul yesterday Mr Karzai said: «The law is under review and amendments will take place. I assure you that the laws of Afghanistan will be in complete harmony with the constitution of Afghanistan, and the human rights that we have adhered to in international treaties.»
Afghanistan’s constitution guarantees equality of the sexes and the country is also a signatory to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. However, hardline theologians argue that all other provisions are overridden by Article Three of the Constitution, which guarantees that nothing contrary to the «beliefs and provisions of Islam» is permissible in Afghan law. Mr Karzai’s climbdown came a day after he said that he had been unaware of its content when he signed it. He made the claim when he met a group of women activists who organised a protest against the new law in Kabul last week. The protesters were attacked by a mob of male supporters of the law.

The controversial provisions were buried in the 239-page document, much of it written in dense theological jargon. Mr Karzai said that his aides had not briefed him properly about the details. Many opponents of the law have said that it did not pass through the normal channels, that would have included discussion of all the articles, because MPs were advised to let the Shia community determine the details of their own laws – a right granted by the constitution.
Article 133 reintroduces the Taleban restrictions on women’s movements outside their homes, stating: «A wife cannot leave the house without the permission of the husband» unless in a medical or other emergency.

Article 27 endorses child marriage, with girls legally able to marry once they begin to menstruate. The law also withholds from the woman the right to inherit her husband’s wealth.

Karzai backs down over ‘abhorrent’ marital rape law