Women in this world have been discriminated against in the name of Islam for decades. And the current situation in Afghanistan or any Muslim majority country is no more exception than that. In Muslim-majority countries, women’s inclusion and status have not always improved as a country’s economic condition improves. Gender inequality affects both richer and poorer Muslim-majority countries. Women’s rights, already harmed by tradition and social conservatism, are now being targeted even harder by radical Islamists. They want to remake communities in the image of what they consider to be immaculate Islam in earlier ages. Traditionalist Muslims and Islamists have questioned the Western ideal of full participation of women in public life, particularly politics, for decades.
The current Taliban lead Afghanistan is all set to implement Saria Law in Afghanistan. This will take all the freedom of women in Afghanistan. After taking Kabul, when Taliban were considering giving rights to women, even then they shot and killed a woman for not wearing a hijab. After conquering Afghanistan, Taliban groups are hunting for sex slaves and are targeting youngsters as young as 12 years old. Taliban leaders are said to regard unmarried — or widowed — women and girls between the ages of 12 and 45 as spoils of war and they are to be distributed among their warriors. Although the situation of women in Afghanistan is highlighted, the situation of women in almost all the Muslim majority countries is the same.
If we look at our neighbor Pakistan, the Hudood law has suppressed women for quite a long time. Hudood means “boundaries” in Arabic. According to this law prohibited sexual practises, such as rape, were transformed into religious offences. With separate evidentiary standards and punishments, as well as the appellate authority of Islamic higher courts. These controversial Hudood Ordinances were enacted by General Ziaul Haq’s military administration in Pakistan in 1979. According to this, rape was no longer covered by the regular penal law. But by the Offence of Zina Ordinance, a subtype of the Enforcement of Hudood Ordinance of 1979, as a result of these modifications.
QURAN AND JIHAD
This law was brought in the name of the Quran. However, the law makers mislead them in the name of Jihad. The Quranic language is simple and straightforward. But there are many rules in Quran too which are very radical and conservative and needs to be revised. The draconian rule has made it difficult for women to compete with the opposite gender in the 21st century.
In Pakistan, the Hudood code has made it impossible for a rape victim to receive justice. According to this law, the courts demand four “adult male” eyewitnesses to rape under the Hudood Ordinance. The Quran also requires the production of four witnesses, not merely male witnesses, to prevent false allegations of fornication against women. Although the Quran does not require four male witnesses, General Zia’s Hudood law does, requiring “at least four Muslim adult witnesses, about whom the Court is satisfied.”
The four males witnessed can only be provided if the rape is committed in public and nude is it conceivable to present four witnesses who had explicitly witnessed the sexual act. When a female victim cannot produce four male eyewitnesses, she is charged under false report under Tazeer. If a woman falls pregnant as a result of rape, the rapist or rapists are given a free pass. But the woman is charged with fornication using pregnancy as evidence.
Safia Bibi’s case:
Well-known example of this law seen in 1983 when Safia Bibi, an 18-year-old blind girl, was raped by her landlord and his son. As a result, Safia got pregnant. Surprisingly, she was charged with fornication after failing to establish her allegation of rape. After not proving her charges, she was found guilty, and sentenced to three years in prison. Along with 15 lashings and was fined Rs 1000 under the draconian Hudood Ordinance islam.
While no one had been sentenced to death or had their hand or foot under severe charges, as a result of the law. Critics claimed that the ordinance made it unsafe to submit rape allegations. As women may be punished under Tazeer if they failed to establish the allegation of rape.
Jehan Mina’s case:
Another frightening rape case again came into the mainstream of the media in the same year of 1983. Jehan Mina, a 13-year-old orphaned girl, was similarly raped by her uncle and his son. She, too, became pregnant. Zina was sentenced to 100 lashes and three years of harsh imprisonment after failing to persuade the court that she had been raped. The fact that she was pregnant was used by the court to prove that she had engaged in sex outside of marriage.
NATIONAL COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
Before the scary Hudood ordinances were enacted in 1979, there were 70 women imprisoned in Pakistani jails. This number soon became 6000 by 1988. According to a 2003 report by the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), “80 percent of women” were imprisoned because “they failed to substantiate rape claims and were thus convicted of adultery under Tazeer.”
In Pakistan, rape has become very common. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s 2002 annual report, “one woman is raped every two hours, and one woman is gang-raped every eight hours.” Due to social taboos and the stigma that the heinous conduct brings against a woman, the vast majority of cases go unreported.
The main question that arises here is how long humanity will tolerate such inhuman behaviour on women in the name of Islam and Jihad. We are currently living in the 21st century, still the condition of women in the Muslim majority countries is worst. In few Muslim majority countries, the woman is not allowed to cast vote or go outside their house without Hijab. On one side, we talk about woman empowerment. Yet on the other hand, we keep silent seeing such conditions of women in Islam.