The Shia personal Status Law was endorsed by presidential degree and published on July 27, 2009.
It governs the followers of Shia, approximately 6 million people or 20 % of Afghanistan’s population. Following concerns expressed by the international community, President Karzai requested a review to ensure the law’s conformity with the Afghan Constitution and Afghanistan’s international obligations.
The published law still contains articles that discriminate against women, including;
a. A wife can leave the house for legitimate purposes to the extent local custom allows.
b. Allows the marriage of children under the age of 16. The legal age of marriage is defined as 16 years of age for girls, and 18 for boys; however, the law allows for the marriage of a child, if the guardian can demonstrate that the child has the ability and interest to marry and has reached puberty.
c. Allows a husband to deny maintenance to a wife who denies him “conjugal rights.