Tuesday May 12, 2009–– Afghanistani Australians from around Australia gathered in Canberra to voice their concern over the increasing Talibanization of Afghanistan as well as to condemn Afghanistan’s now infamous Rape Law. Protesters shouted slogans against the shameless move by religious fundamentalists to further rid women of their basic rights in clear violation of United Nations declaration on Human Rights, to which Afghanistan is a signatory. They further urged the Australian public and government to use their influence to ensure Human Rights are upheld in Afghanistan.
The protesters, majority of who were women, took their concerns to the Australian Parliament House and later to the gates of the Afghanistan Embassy in Canberra where they formally filed their protest with the Afghanistani Ambassador to Australia, who promised to pass the concerns of the protesters to authorities in Kabul.
Some of the articles in The Shi’a Personal Status Law that are in gross violation of the Human Rights are as follows:
- Treatment of women as sex objects
- Legalization of marital rape, including the obligation on women to submit to their husbands’ sexual desires at a minimum of four times a week.
- Age discrimination, legalization of marriage at 16 for girls and 18 for boys
- Legalization of forced marriages
- Child Abuse and Child Marriage, thereby the legalization of intercourse with a minor
- Allowing men to have multiple wives
- And more …
- All the people of Afghanistan should have the right to enjoy freedom, liberty, freedom of speech as well as the right to exercise their belief.
- All marriages should be voluntary and sexual relationship within marriage should be on voluntary basis too.
- We demand the abolition of laws that allow men to have multiple wives.
- Women are not the property of men. The obligation on them to be subjects to their husbands’ permission must be abolished.
- We urge the Australian government to condemn ‘The Rape Law’ and use its influence to ensure Human Rights are upheld in Afghanistan.
- The Shiite Personal Status Law is in gross violation of Human Rights, it is a cruel attacked against women. It must therefore be repealed and its provisions eliminated without any delay.