Stop the War on Afghan Women


Luis Morago - <> Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 5:00 AM
To: "" <>

Dear friends across the world,

Sold into marriage at 12, Sahar Gul lived in a torture chamber. Her in-laws chained her in the basement, beat her with red hot iron pipes, and pulled out her fingernails when she refused to be forced into prostitution. Her stomach-turning story is tragically common in Afghanistan, but now a few courageous activists are fighting back and they need our help.

A new bill is quietly being snuck through the Afghan Parliament that would make it almost impossible to prosecute crimes like marital rape, and spousal and child abuses. It bans relatives from testifying against their family, when they are often the only witnesses to the disgusting acts. If it passes itíll make an incredibly difficult situation for women even worse.

A leading member of the National Assembly and inspirational womenís rights activist has told Avaaz that a global outcry would help supportive politicians stop the bill in its tracks. Letís ramp up the pressure by building a 1 million-strong petition ahead of the crucial vote in the Upper House -- then we will launch a massive radio and TV campaign targeting key senators until the bill is dumped. Click now to join and tell everyone:

One year after Sahar was tossed into a torture chamber and had her fingernails pulled out for refusing to prostitute herself, her attackers were released early from prison. Along with the abduction and shooting of female parliamentarians and police officers, the appointment of former Taliban officials as independent human rights commissioners, and now this new bill, a pattern of violent escalation is emerging against women in Afghanistan.

Local womenís groups and supportive Parliamentarians, aghast at the attacks on womenís rights, have been actively working to beat back this new bill. It's a devious plan to try to make it impossible to prosecute crimes like marital rape, spousal and child abuse, for which family members are often the only witnesses.

To gag them would be to give impunity to people that sell, torture and rape women. Because of this renewed assault on womenís rights in Afghanistan, there is a real danger that Sahar Gulís in-laws might never face real justice for their crimes and that countless future perpetrators wonít as well. Thatís why we need to raise the alarm now. Sign to get leaders to protect, not persecute women.

Afghan womenís rights advocates and extraordinary survivors of abuse have stepped forward time and again to fight for human rights. Over the years, Avaaz members from around the world have consistently rallied to back them up. Letís do it again.

More Information:

Afghan judges free three jailed for torture of child bride Sahar Gul (Guardian)

Afghanistan: Escalating Setbacks for Women (Human Rights Watch)

Women's rights face new obstacles in Afghanistan (Global Post)

16 Aug 2013

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