Afghanistan (MNN) — On Friday, The Taliban released a decree on Afghan women’s rights. The statement said women should not be considered property, or be given in marriage without their consent.
It laid out more regulations for marriages, saying widows should have a share in their deceased husband’s property. The statement particularly forbids using women as bartering chips to settle a conflict or dispute.
However, the statement failed to mention women’s right to work, or their access to education. The decree hasn’t impressed Afghan women, who say these rights were already granted under basic Islamic law. The international community is putting a lot of pressure on the Taliban to increase women’s rights, including freezing funds held in the U.S.
Denise Godwin with International Media Ministries (IMM) says, “It’s a scary thing when these governments diminish the value of someone. It gives the community at large permission to be more abusive, whether towards children, women, or minority religions like Christianity in many cases. That’s common in these towns and smaller communities.”
Women of the Bible
Women throughout the Bible faced similar cultural attitudes. But God walked with them. IMM’s Women of the Bible follows some of these stories. Godwin says, “You have Ruth, who is sort of in a refugee situation fleeing from hunger. You have Rahab, whose city is being overtaken by civil war. Tamer was on the verge of an honor killing. And you have Bathsheba, who’s caught up in this whole political intrigue basically.”
The Women of the Bible series remains very popular in the Middle East. You can check out the series here.
Ask God to walk with Afghan women. Godwin says, “These people are truly fighting on the front lines of so many challenges. And we just want to encourage and uphold their arms as much as we can from outside.”
The header photo shows Afghan women using the internet at a university in Herat, Afghanistan in 2009. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Wilkinson (U.S. Department of State), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)