05.18.1311:00 AM ET

Afghan MPs Block Law To Outlaw Child Marriage

Legislation would have safeguarded a host of women's rights.

Conservative parliamentarians in Afghanistan blocked the passage of legislation that aimed to safeguard women's rights in the country, and that would have criminalized child marriage and the selling of women to settle family disputes. It also would have protected rape victims from criminal charges of fornication or adultry. The Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women has been in effect since 2009 by presidential decree, but female lawmaker Fawzia Koofi wants to pass through the legislature, to protect it from future presidential vagaries. Her push met with strong opposition from religious male MPs, who claimed that it was "un-Islamic" and that it would "give [women] ideas."