Many Americans have died in Afghanistan to bring democracy to the region. That concept isn't working out any better for women in that country than other forms of government -- it's the indigenous religion that weighs on them and it's being translated into oppressive laws.
An Afghan bill allowing a husband to starve his wife if she refuses to have sex has been published in the official gazette and become law.
The original bill caused outrage earlier this year, forcing Afghan President Hamid Karzai to withdraw it. But critics say the amended version of the law remains highly repressive. They accuse Mr Karzai of selling out Afghan women for the sake of conservative Shia support at next week's presidential election.
"What matters more to Karzai is the support of fundamentalists and hardliners here in Afghanistan whose support he thinks he needs in the elections."
Women's groups say its new wording still violates the principle of equality that is enshrined in their constitution. It allows a man to withhold food from his wife if she refuses his sexual demands; a woman must get her husband's permission to work; and fathers and grandfathers are given exclusive custody of children.
The law seems to apply only to the Shia minority in that country, but it reveals how expendible women's dignity is in that region. To extrapolate further on who, exactly, will be affected by laws about marriage, consider the wider culture and the marriage of children.
No just society can be built on families that do not honour all members.