After annulling their divorces, the Taliban’s oppressive rule in Afghanistan is allegedly forcing divorced women back into violent unions. Some women claim that they have been returned to violent husbands from whom they had been given a formal separation. Which was under the US-backed former Afghan administration, lawyers told AFP.
Nine out of ten Afghan women report experiencing physical, sexual, or psychological violence from their partners. This is according to the UN Mission there. Yet, divorce is much more taboo than the abuse itself. Women who leave their husbands face several abuses from society.
Significantly, the divorce rate in urban areas was progressively increasing during the previous US-backed regime. To hear divorce cases, specialised family courts with female judges and attorneys were established. However, the new legal system became exclusively male after the Taliban seized control of the government in August 2021.
In the Taliban-run Afghanistan, Nazifa, a lawyer won almost 100 divorce cases for battered women. She is no longer able to practice.
Story of Marwa from Afghanistan:
Marwa (new name) was compelled to go back to her violent ex-husband. He had broken all her teeth in years of torture. Her husband claimed that he was forced into a divorce. Marwa, who had endured months of beatings, managed to get away to a relative’s home hundreds of miles away with her six daughters and two sons. As a result of her concern that her ex-husband would learn of them, Marwa and all of her children changed names.
Marwa, however, is currently being forced by the Taliban regime to re-join with her terrible husband. Thus she has taken to hiding with her entire family of eight.
The issue of domestic abuse in Afghanistan:
Women therefore face the worst nightmare in a system that the United Nations has dubbed “gender-based apartheid.” They have no legal recourse against domestic violence and also no ability to break their legally recognized marriage to the abuser.
But divorce is frequently more taboo than the abuse itself. The culture is still harsh on women who leave their husbands.
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