A new documentary from VICE, titled Afghan Women’s Rights and premiering Friday at 11pm, explores the ongoing plight of women in Afghanistan, who remain the daily target of human rights abuses even after the removal of the Taliban from power. At a hidden shelter, filmmaker correspondent Isobel Yeung spoke to two young sisters-in-law, 17 and 18 years of age, respectively. The teenagers ran away after the younger girl denied her father-in-law sex, a decision that prompted him to beat both of them severely. The 17-year-old said her husband regularly beat her, and that she had attempted suicide by poison at least twice since being married at age 12. “And once they get us out of here, they won’t let us live,” they said. Six weeks later, the teens were discovered by their family, Vice reported.
The Afghan government passed a new constitution in 2004 that gave women basic rights, and adopted the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW) in 2009. But parliament refused to ratify EVAW, and today, 87 percent of Afghan women remain afflicted by domestic violence. In an interview with Yeung, prominent Afghan legislator Nazir Ahmad Hanafi said EVAW contradicts Islamic values, and that there are two different kinds of rape, “a kind of rape you have and another kind we have in Islam.” He abruptly ended the interview by telling Yeung, “Maybe I should give you to an Afghan man to take your nose off.” Such threats are no joke — in January, a 20-old Afghan woman had her nosed hacked off by her husband because she ran away.