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Although I find her writing highly entertaining, I'm far from being a big fan of Rosie DiManno. I've stopped reading the Star so I don't read her regularly, but I do read Antonia Zerbisias' blog, Broadsides. In this entry, she juxtaposes the "courage" of the American teabaggers with that of the Afghan women who protested Hamid Karzai's proposal marital rape law. In there, she reposted Rosia DiManno's most recent article. I would like to bring the following passage to your attention:

In the West, the outrage has arisen primarily over a section of this negotiated legislation that would make rape within marriage legal. Frankly, I do not understand the fixation among religious scholars – from all faiths – with sexual matters, intimacy and procreation.

But the hysteria in the West over the marital rape provision has been disingenuous. It was only 16 years ago that Oregon became the first U.S. state to make marital rape a crime – and just this year Oklahoma became the 50th state to follow suit. In Canada, the Criminal Code was amended in 1983.

Afghanistan is one of the most medieval societies on Earth. Disabusing Afghan men of the idea they can demand sex at least once every four days – as the law stipulated – will require a cultural shift of tectonic proportions.

They are not, in fact, so far behind the worldwide learning curve on this issue. It isn't, forgive me, a deal-breaker.

Far more worrisome is that part of the legislation that would return women once again to sequestered isolation, forbidding Shia females from venturing outside the home unless accompanied by a male relative.

This was a core commandment of the fanatical Taliban and must in no way gain a toehold again. Women all over Afghanistan today go out, alone and in groups. They walk their children to school. They shop. They work. They seek medical treatment. They do it in Kabul and they do it in Kandahar city.

NATO countries and donor nations have the right to draw a line, here.


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January 2019

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