KABUL on Thursday took to the streets in Kabul to protest the proposed law on Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW), asking parliament to reject it.
Around 300 activists of the Jamiat-i-Islah party staged the protest in the Salim Karwan Square, chanting “I am a woman, I cannot be deceived by Western slogans, Quran is our law and EVAW is against Islamic teachings.”
The participants claimed some clauses of the law that had been enacted in 2009 by President Karzai through a decree were against the teachings of Islam and ran counter to Afghan traditions.
A debate on the controversial law was halted minutes after a female lawmaker put it before the lower house for approval, with some MPs angrily opposing the measure as unacceptable.
Over the past four year, civil society and human rights activists have been making efforts to enforce the law in the face of strong opposition from conservative sections of society.
Hundreds of Jamiat-i-Islah activists, who attended the gathering, asked the national assembly to throw out the law. Saeeda Hafeez, the party’s women wing chief, said Islam gives females all rights and there was no need for any other laws.
Some people were deprived of their rights because they had deviated from their faith, she said, adding the West had been trying over the past many years to implement in Islamic countries laws that could promote vulgarity in the name of freedom.
Another speaker, Mahmooda, alleged some circles had been trying to do away with Islamic values and Afghan traditions on the pretext of empowering women. She warned the law, if approved, would end the culture of respect for elders.
She cited a clause of the proposed law that says if a woman is insulted, beaten or intimidated, her spouse shall be sent to jail for three months.
Another clause suggests six months imprisonment for a man if he enters a second marriage without the approval of his first spouse. She said these clauses were against Islamic teachings and the Afghan culture.
Mahmooda said the country had many laws that guaranteed women’s rights and there was no need for more laws in this connection.