Afghanistan: Taliban Wives Seek Divorce

Since the Taliban’s fall last November, Afghan women have flooded Kabul’s 16 district courts seeking divorces, according to a report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). As many as 50 women a day Ñ most forced into marriage with Taliban men Ñsubmit divorce requests despite facing possible detainment, according to Mohammad Usman, chair of a legal commission in Kabul. One woman, who declined to provide her name told IWPR: “I was forcibly married two years ago. Now that the rights of all people have been restored in Afghanistan, I want my freedom. My husband doesn’t let me go to work..”

Most Muslims in Afghanistan are Sunnis, governed by Hanafi principles that forbid a woman from divorcing a man. However, in rare cases where a court deems a marriage to be forced, divorce may be permitted. Still, Second District Court Judge Abdul Shukoor has reservations. “Because we haven’t received any decision from the Supreme Court, we are very careful in this regard,” he said.


Institute for WomenÕs Policy Research 7/5/02

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