Afghan President Hamid Karzai is urging Islamists to end forced marriages and to fight violence against women. At a meeting of religious leaders and government employees, Karzai stated that his government will continue to work for women’s rights, reports Agence France Presse. Karzai also announced that Afghan officials will be sent on fact-finding trips to study how local commanders deal with women’s rights and if “any wrongdoing is found” the Afghan government will take action.
Karzai pointed to a fatwa (religious decree) that was recently issued by Saudi Arabian scholars stating that forced marriage of girls goes against Islam. According to the Daily Times of Pakistan, girls aged 12 and younger are still given in marriage to end tribal disputes in some parts of Afghanistan.