New Afghan Law legalizes marital rape?

3 04 2009

The Associated Press released a report today that Afghan officials (some say without a discussion by Parliament) that would effectively legislates a couples sexual activity in the home.  The following is from the article:

“As long as the husband is not traveling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night,” Article 132 of the law says. “Unless the wife is ill or has any kind of illness that intercourse could aggravate, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband.”

One provision also appears to protect the woman’s right to sex inside marriage saying the “man should not avoid having sexual relations with his wife longer than once every four months.”

Many critics are saying this is a step back for women’s rights in Afghanistan (a critique with which I agree).  What do you think?  What’s the best way for our current administration to encourage and work alongside Afghan officials to promote civil rights?  What are a person’s “rights” in a marital relationship?  Is it appropriate for this law to be in place, making it possible for men to take legal action against their wives if they are not “obedient”?  What should be the church’s response?  


Here’s the link: