29 Apr 2009
| Godsway Shumba |
President Karzai (news
) of Afghanistan has promised to amend a new law
condoning marital rape and child marriage that provoked violent clashes in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Mr Karzai signed the Shia Family Law last month which was widely condemned by human rights activists as a ploy to curtail the freedom of Afghan women.
Under the new law, child marriages were going to be legal. Article 27 of the law says girls are legally able to marry once they begin to menstruate. The average age of menstrual bleeding is 11.75 years
President Karzai's decision to overturn the new law is good news to people who are advocating for the rights of the child. Empowerment of the girl child is one of the effective means to prevent new HIV infections. Girls who are given an opportunity to further their education are better at making right choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health rights.
What do you think is the best way to introduce the rights of the child
(Best interests of child, parental guidance, right to privacy) in a religious conservative society?