Petitioners Try and Help Release Imprisoned Afghani Woman

After reading about this story today, I felt it necessary to discuss on several levels: international law, women’s rights, and cultural dichotomies.

Gulnaz, a 21-year old Afghani is serving three years in prison (what was recently reduced from twelve years) for failing to promptly notify local authorities of rape that

[image via]

was committed by her cousin’s husband. She informed the police once she found out that she was pregnant – the baby is now born and she is raising the child while finishing her prison time. [Her face is covered in the photo above because of cultural practices and protection of confidentiality.]

In light of these events (which recently received international exposure) a petition with almost 5,000 signatures was sent to President Hamid Karzai to opt for Gulnaz’ immediate release. Unfortunately, she will still serve the remaining time of the three years she was sentenced to.

Gulnaz is probably one of thousands of women in Middle Eastern countries that face similar situations. Women are still deeply discriminated physically and intellectually for tragic events that they have no control over.

My opinion is that the facts of this speak volumes: a woman was raped and is in prison for not advising officers in a timely fashion. If we want individuals to have a voice, shouldn’t the phrase “better late than never” apply here? Young women like Gulnaz (or any woman) should have to deal with this discrimination.




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