Women and their 'husbands'

"I believe if there are no women in the leadership positions, how can you make policies that are fit for women?" MP Kofi asked.

But life as a woman MP is not safe: "I received some threats to me that they [fundamentalist groups] may want to kill or assassinate me.

"But then I left a letter to my children that we will die one day or the other but the pride might be that you don't die in silence."

e from The Stoning of Soraya M

President Karzai is leader in Afghanistan and the West demanded he improved women's rights after the repressive Taliban years. But if the life of his wife Dr Zinat Karzai, is anything to go by, this is not happening.

Panorama: What are we fighting for? is on BBC One, Monday 17 August at 8.30pm.

In April, President Karzai signed a law which sought to control a woman's sex life and freedom in the minority Shia community. It would have effectively legalised rape in marriage within that community. It was described as abhorrent by US President Obama, and in the face of international protest the Afghan president backtracked.

Eight years after the Taliban were ousted, conditions for women are not improving.

One woman the programme speaks with, Saida, like 60% of Afghan women, was married as a child and now takes refuge from her 60-year-old husband in a hostel. She was nine years old when her brothers sold her to a man known for having killed two of his wives. Her marriage was one in which she was beaten, abused and had four miscarriages, she was sold for sex with other men.

See here - the abuse and the phenomenon of underage marriage is rife

See here - for the limitations placed on the life of a woman

And here - for what our country' s real involvement is in these issues

When is the world going to wake up and stop the oppression of women in the name of culture and religion? It must make God weep.

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