Divorced Afghan Women Compelled to Return to Their Cruel Ex Husbands

Several women are reported to be dragged back into abusive marriages in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule, reported the AFP. It is alleged that the Taliban commanders are annulling the divorces of these poor women.

A woman named Marwa, who was abused by her former husband for years who broke all of her teeth, had to go into hiding with her eight children when Taliban commanders tore up her divorce and forced her to return back to her inhuman husband.

Several married women in Afghanistan like Marwa were granted legal separation under the previous US-backed government. In Afghanistan domestic abuse of women is endemic.

The Taliban government adheres to an austere interpretation of Islam and has imposed severe restrictions on women’s lives that the United Nations called “gender-based apartheid”.

In Afghanistan nine in 10 women suffer physical, sexual, or psychological violence from their husbands, says UN’s mission in the country.

Divorce, however, is often more taboo for women than the abuse itself. In Afghanistan society is unforgiving to women who part with their husbands.

Under the previous US-backed government, divorce rates were steadily rising in some cities, where the small gains in women’s rights were largely limited to education and employment.  As awareness grew, women realised that separating from abusive husbands was possible.

Under the ousted regime, special family courts with women judges and lawyers were established to hear such cases, but the Taliban authorities have made their new justice system an all-male affair.

Nazifa, a lawyer who successfully handled around 100 divorce cases for abused women is no longer permitted to work in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

A nationwide network of shelters and services that once supported women has almost entirely collapsed, while the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Human Rights Commission have been erased.

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