I just read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini (author of “The Kite Runner”). It gives a real picture of why women in Afghanistan have so few rights today. Although women were once politicians and academics, when the Taliban came in they essentially forced women into their homes. It helped me understand how fear (of torture or death) can completely control men and women. No one dares to question! It makes me so sad that husbands allow the abuse to continue and that their wives and daughters are prisoners who cannot to run away. And although this is fiction, the news tells me that this is still happening today.
Here is an excerpt from his novel: “If you steal your hand will be cut off at the wrist. If you steal again your foot will be cut off. If you are not Muslim, do not worship where you can be seen by Muslims. If you do, you will be beaten and imprisoned. If you are caught trying to convert a Muslim to your faith, you will be executed. Attention women: You will stay inside your homes at all times. It is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside, you must be accompanied by a mahram, a male relative. If you are caught alone on the street you will be beaten and sent home. You will not under any circumstance, show your face. You will cover with a burqa when outside. If you do not, you will be severely beaten.” (page 278)