With the latest advent of the law advocating 'legal' rape against married women, is there such a thing as democracy and women's rights in Afghanistan? Apparently not, judging by the law that was passed on 27 July 2009 giving men ‘legal' right to refuse maintenance to their wives if they refuse to have sex - in other words, women will be raped to survive. This law is a further demoralisation for women in Afghan society.

If women refuse to be raped, and are harmed or starved in the process, who will feed these mens' children? Will they pull out the pots and start cooking? I don't think so, they are far to chauvanistic for that! They deem themselves God. They are in for a big surprise.

Afghanistan, instead of moving forward, is returning to the dark ages with this law. It seems the end of the Taliban reign in 2001 is worth nothing, they are still ruling the country by violence and infiltrating the government. Karzai cannot hope to satisfy them or the clerics until the whole country is back to where it was when the Taliban were in power.

What really is to be achieved by creating an even more abusive society? Are men THAT afraid of women that they have to force them into rape and slavery? Again, it would seem so.

Where in the Afghan constitution does it give men permission to rape their wives? Nowhere. Where in their religion does it give permission to make women slaves? Nowhere. The Afghan constitution states that "the citizens of Afghanistan - whether man or woman- have equal rights and duties before the law". Where are the equal rights with this new ‘law' that has recently been passed?

• Every 30 minutes, an Afghan woman dies during childbirth
• 87 percent of Afghan women are illiterate
• 30 percent of girls have access to education in Afghanistan
• 1 in every 3 Afghan women experience physical, psychological or sexual violence
• 44 years is the average life expectancy rate for women in Afghanistan
• 70 to 80 percent of women face forced marriages in Afghanistan
(Statistics: Afghanistan online)

Forthcoming election or not, someone has to speak out on this archaic situation. It is about time the donor countries found their guts and stood together to help these women.

They deserve it.

Linda owns and runs Brandlady.com, an online women's wellbeing magazine. Its aim is for the empowerment of women worldwide. For more articles on women's rights, wellbeing and much more visit her website