Afghan women are jailed for “moral crimes”

A report by Oxfam has found that 87% of Afghan women face systematic physical, psychological or sexual abuse, or forced marriages. Paradoxically, those responsible for the abuses do not face any legal actions, while victims face prison sentences. According to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), nearly half of all women in Afghan prisons are being held for “moral crimes” such as running away from home or adultery. Afghanistan is the only country in the world where Sharia law is interpreted to prohibit women from running away from their home without permission. Unfortunately, most Afghan women are illiterate. Not only do they not understand how the legal system works, but they are also reluctant to report crimes against them because they fear that they might get punished for them. Many human rights groups fear that the situation might get worse when international forces leave the country.

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