Den afghanske regjeringen har i all hemmelighet vedtatt en revidert versjon av ekteskapsloven for shia-musliimer. Noen av de mest diskriminerende bestemmelsene er fjernet, men fremdeles gjenspeiler loven at det er forskjell på mann og kvinner og at mannen har forrang.
The amended Shia personal status law was passed by the Afghan cabinet in secrecy earlier this month. But despite some contentious clauses being removed, it still states that a man need not support his wife financially unless he has «access to her».
Women in traditional rural Afghan society rely on their husbands for support.
The new law also still gives rights of guardianship entirely to fathers and grandfathers. By stipulating blood money should be paid for underage girls who are raped, human rights groups allege it also implicity sanctions child abuse.
Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch said: «This review process has been shrouded in secrecy.
«The result is that, despite some modest improvements, many key amendments proposed by civil society groups and parliamentarians have been ignored, and some of the most repressive provisions remain.»
Under the Afghan constitution, the country’s 10 per cent Shia minority is allowed to settle family affairs under its own jurisprudence.