‘Equal’ does not mean ‘the same’…
I was going to post a comment to say that things didn’t actually get all that much better but I was relieved to see that someone already had.
This isn’t necessarily a substantive change. The Afghani Constitution is written in a way that simultaneously enshrines conflicting values, leaving wiggle room to really do anything you want regarding women- or remain paralyzed in confusion. And a Western audience is particularly susceptible to not “getting” this because of the power of some of the lipservice to rights, and the common ignorance of how Islamic law actually works…“Equal” does not mean (has not meant) “identical” in an Islamic context regarding gender, especially in the realm of family and personal law. “Equal” can mean “complementary,” (*wink*) meaning, patriarchal gender roles being upheld with the full force of the State. So, basically, women are screwed.
Precisely. Equal can and very often does mean ‘complementary,’ and women are indeed screwed. The Vatican, the FLDS, conservative Baptists – all use this trick. There’s a chapter of Does God Hate Women? that’s largely about that. Pretending to give with one hand and violently snatching away with the other. Bastards.