Gulnaz will still marry the man who raped her. Public pressure and embarrassment for Afghanistan at least got her out of jail, but the fact remains that half of Afghan women who are in jail are there for alleged “moral crimes.”
There are many more like Gulnaz who are still behind bars, and unfortunately, there will be many more like her in Afghanistan in the future.
The Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered the release of a woman who was jailed for adultery after being raped — but she now faces having to marry her attacker, officials said.
The move came after some 5,000 people signed a petition for the release of the woman, named Gulnaz, who has served two years in prison after a relative raped her at her home. She has been raising the child she had by her attacker in a prison cell in Kabul.
The case again highlights the poor state of women’s rights in Afghanistan, 10 years after a US-led invasion ousted the Taliban who were notorious for their harsh laws against women. […]
Following the outcry over Gulnaz’s case, Karzai called a meeting where judicial officials decided to pardon her, said presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi.
But the officials also said that Gulnaz should marry the man who attacked her, due to fears she could be in danger if released because of the stigma surrounding her attack in Afghanistan.
She consented to the union, Faizi said.
“She agreed to the marriage but only if his (the attacker’s) sister marries Gulnaz’s brother,” the spokesman added, explaining that this was a way to try and ensure Gulnaz was not attacked by the man in future.
Faizi insisted that her release from prison was not dependent on her agreeing to marry her attacker.
Violence against women in Afghanistan appears to be increasing rather than decreasing, despite billions of dollars of international aid which has poured into the country during the decade-long war.
The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission logged 1,026 cases of violence against women in the second quarter of 2011 compared with 2,700 cases for the whole of 2010.
Some 87 percent of Afghan women report having experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage, according to figures quoted in an October report by the charity Oxfam….