A Guardian story that Afghanistan has quietly passed a law permitting Shiite men to deny their wives food and sustenance if they refuse to obey their husbands’ sexual demands, despite international outrage over an earlier version of the legislation that President Hamid Karzai had promised to review, got a run in the Sunday Age yesterday but has not featured elsewhere that I have noticed. It is as if in Australia we do not want to think about what our soldiers are actually fighting for in that war because the truth is so horrible we know we should not be there at all!
Maybe one of the two national television broadcasters will help expose the sordid truth of what democracy Afghan style is actually like by showing in the very near future the program going to air on the BBC’s Panorama this week. Panorama correspondent Jane Corbin shows what has really happened to women in a country where our team pretends liberated, women have cast off their burkhas and embraced the new democracy introduced by President Hamid Karzai’s government with its new Constitution promising equality and human rights under the law. Correspondent Corbin tells of how a staggering 60% of women are still forced into marriage as children — often as young as nine or ten, something that has not changed since the west intervened, despite Afghan law stating that girls under 16 should not be married. Noting that change for women is painfully slow in Afghanistan she observes people full of foreboding about what will happen after the presidential election if talks with the so-called ‘moderate’ Taliban go ahead.