Women’s Rights in Afghanistan and Pakistan

August 8, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Congratulations to Bob Walker for getting this letter published in the New York Times on April 22.

“Women, Extremism and Two Key States” (editorial, April 15) justly condemns the utter disregard for women’s rights shown by Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is a moral outrage. And more.

Requiring Afghan women to have sex whenever their husbands demand it will only perpetuate severe poverty and gender inequality in one of the poorest countries in the world.

Though many Afghan women want to limit or space their pregnancies, religious extremism is a big obstacle. Few Afghan women currently use modern contraceptives. As a consequence, women in Afghanistan bear an average of nearly seven children, and the Afghan population is on pace to double in size over the next 25 years. Maternal and child mortality rates are already exceptionally high, and school completion rates, particularly for girls, are extremely low.

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