Afghanistan passes ‘barbaric’ law diminishing women’s rights

Rehashed legislation allows husbands to deny wives food if they fail to obey sexual demands

Women in Islamic dress, wearing the burka, AfghanistanWomen wearing the burka in Baharak town, Afghanistan. Photograph: Tim Wimborne/Reuters

Afghanistan has quietly passed a law permitting Shia men to deny their wives food and sustenance if they refuse to obey their husbands’ sexual demands, despite international outrage over an earlier version of the legislation which President Hamid Karzai had promised to review.

The new final draft of the legislation also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work.

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