Thursday, September 5, 2013
Afghanistan: Child Marriage, Domestic Violence Harm Progress
As the Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s final year in office is drawing to a close, he is making it a priority to enforce a law that protects women from forced childhood marriage and domestic violence. The new law makes it a crime to force young girls to marry and also protects them from the high likelihood of future domestic violence. A report on domestic violence reported that at least 85% of women had experienced some form of abuse. Why has violence against women in Afghanistan reached this high a percentage? Why are women experiencing all of this abuse? These women have neither been protected from this violence nor have they been given the same rights that men possess, that is, until recently. Why has it taken this long for Afghanistan to realize that their women and children deserve the same rights as men? Young girls are forced to marry older men and often have children beginning in their teens. This leads to medical problems for not only themselves, but also for their children. This pattern of childhood marriage and domestic violence is robbing women and children of basic human rights. If they had no protection under the law, how long would they have to wait before their suffering was recognized? Other nations that have similar levels of domestic violence against women and children should follow the example of Afghanistan and start to offer aid to the victims. I never realized that the statistics involving domestic violence in other countries had reached such high volumes. This article made me more aware of the some of the problems that children and adults face every day in not only Afghanistan, but all around the world. These people have not been receiving their basic human rights, so it is hopeful to see that some countries are making an effort to provide legal protection for these individuals.