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Conservative Afghan lawmakers block law protecting women, saying it is against Islam

An Afghan legislator says conservative lawmakers have blocked a law that aims to protect women's freedoms, saying parts of it violate Islamic principles.

The failure highlights how tenuous women's rights remain a dozen years after the ouster of the hard-line Taliban regime, whose strict interpretation of Islam kept Afghan women virtual prisoners in their homes.

The law has actually been in effect since 2009 by presidential decree. Lawmaker Fawzia Kofi wants to cement it with a parliamentary vote to prevent its future reversal.

Among its provisions are bans on child marriage and the traditional practice of selling and buying women to settle disputes.

Kofi said the law was introduced in parliament Saturday but met such fierce opposition that it was withdrawn. It wasn't immediately clear to which parts they objected.