It is illegal to be female in Afghanistan.

That’s basically the message here.

Running away is considered a “moral crime” for women in Afghanistan while some rape victims are also imprisoned, because sex outside marriage – even when the woman is forced – is considered adultery, another “moral crime”.


The plight of a woman called Nilofar illustrates the problem. She was stabbed repeatedly with a screwdriver in the head, chest, and arms by her husband who accused her of adultery for inviting a man into the house, the rights group said.

But afterwards, she was arrested, he was not.

“The way he beat her wasn’t bad enough to keep him in jail. She wasn’t near death, so he didn’t need to be in prison,” the prosecutor of the case told Human Rights Watch.


Once leaving prison, women and girls face strong social stigma in the conservative country and may be killed in so-called “honor killings”.

“I just want a divorce. I can’t go back to my father because he will kill me. All my family has left me behind,” 20-year-old Aisha, who was sentenced to three years for fleeing an abusive husband she was forced to marry, told researchers.

You can be forced to marry, and if your husband stabs you with a screwdriver, he will not be prosecuted, but you will be imprisoned for having provoked him. If you run away from your violent and possibly homicidal husband, you can be imprisoned. If you are a victim of rape, you are a criminal and will be treated as such. When you finish your prison term, you may be killed by your family for not having died at the hands of your husband or rapist first. Let’s just call this by its proper name: it is a crime in Afghanistan to have been born with a uterus, and that crime is punishable by death.

If an Afghan woman turns up sans husband in a less-terrible country, she should be allowed to stay regardless of documentation or immigration status. Any country that deports a woman back to Afghanistan is committing a human rights violation.

No, this isn’t working.

The thing that really sucks about staying home with a head cold is that while you can’t go to work, you also can’t concentrate well enough to write a coherent blog post. This is especially damaging when the blog post in question has to do with writing advice.

Therefore, today I will show you yet another news item to make you hate humanity, via Ophelia Benson:

A woman in north-eastern Afghanistan has been arrested for allegedly strangling her daughter-in-law for giving birth to a third daughter.

The murdered woman’s husband, a member of a local militia, is also suspected of involvement but he has since fled.

Meanwhile, those three little girls still need someone to raise them.