This is a roughly translated English version of part of a declaration made by the Ulema Council and backed by President Karzai. (in early March 2012) My comments are at the bottom :)
5. Unlike other civilizations and societies of the present and the past, the sacred religion of Islam – in recognition of the fundamental role of women in nurturing the society – offers women many civil and social rights, and human dignity and honor.
In the centuries before Islam, and among human civilizations and nations, women were deprived of any kind of human and social rights. They were treated as cheap property and were even buried alive. But by the advent of the globe-illuminating sun [that was] the sacred religion of Islam, many rights were given to women according to nature, such as:
A. The right to property, ownership and commerce
B. The right to inheritance according to the principles of the sacred Shariah of Islam
C. The right to mehr (very roughly, dower), which is exclusively the woman’s [property] and no one has the right to take it without her consent. All other practices known as toyana, shareeb, etc. do not have a basis in the Shariah.
D. The right to choose a spouse according to her own will. Forcibly marrying an adult woman is not allowed, although consultation with the guardians – which is a religious rule – is practiced
E. Women, like men, have dignity and are beings with freedom; therefore, exchanging a woman for someone’s blood (badal), or for [establishing] peace, or exchanging a woman for another’s dower are haram and prohibited under the Shariah.
F. Women cannot be inherited. Similarly, there are many other rights, granted to a woman under the religion of Islam, which are observed. But, where a Muslim woman has many rights, [she also] has duties and obligations, such as:
- Adherence, in faith and action, to the orders and prohibitions of Islam’s sacred Shariah
- Complete adherence and observance of the hijab [according to the Shariah], which protects the dignity and personality of the woman
- Avoiding mingling with stranger men in various social situations, such as education, shopping, the office and other affairs of life
- In consideration of the clarity of verses 1 and 34 of Surah an-Nisa’ [of the Qur’an], men are fundamental and women are secondary; also, lineage is derived from the man. Therefore, the use of words and expressions that contradict the sacred verses must be strictly avoided.
- Respecting [the orders] about the multiplicity of wives (polygamy), which are in accordance with clear orders of the Qur’an
- Avoiding travel without a [Shariah-sanctioned] mahram (male companion)
- Adherence to the clear orders of Muhammad’s Shariah in case of divorce
A multitude of rights and responsibilities are set forth in the religious texts of Islam; they will be consulted as needed.
Here is an article debating the various points that the Declaration made: http://www.afghanistan-today.org/article/?id=204
And now for my comments!
Sneaky..... The declaration does not say 'teasing, harrasment and beating of women is prohibited. It says it is not prohibited without a Shariah-compiant reason. Therefore, it is allowed. Teasing, harrasment, and beating of women is allowed! You can turn anything into a Shariah-compliant reason!
Should we then propose that women are allowed to beat their husbands if they have a Shariah-compliant reason? Nah.... I wouldn't want to promote equality.
Thank you to
https://afghanistananalysis.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/english-translation-of-ulema-councils-declaration-about-women/ for the English translation.