Baad (practice)

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Baad is a pre-Islamic method of settlement and compensation whereby a female from the criminal's family is given to the victim's family as a servant or a bride.[1] It is still practiced in certain areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, mainly among the Kochis.[2] Although baad is illegal under Afghan law, many of the victims do not know their rights, and still more are prevented from exercising them.[3]


After a person commits a serious crime, a council of elders called jirga decides the punishment. The punishment for a smaller crime is a fine in the form of money or livestock. Standard penalty for a crime such as murder is for the offender's family to give a female to the victim's family.[1] In theory, the female is given in forced marriage to a male in the victim's family. In practice, the female given in baad becomes an equal member of the new family and as a domestic worker. Baad sometimes leads to domestic violence.[3]

The practice of baad has no Islamic basis. It is rather considered un-Islamic and illegal.[3] As per the Hadith, "A non-virgin woman may not be married without her command, and a virgin may not be married without her permission; and it is permission enough for her to remain silent (because of her natural shyness)." [Al-Bukhari:6455, Muslim & Others].[4]

Afghan law[edit]

Baad is a criminal offense under Article 517 of the 1976 Afghan Penal Code, but the Article applies only if a widow and woman above age 18 is given under Baad. According to Afghan law, the sentence for perpetrators of baad (i.e., forcing a woman into marriage and slavery through baad) cannot exceed two years of prison. No jirga elder or family is known to have been arrested or tried for taking or giving a girl in baad. The practice of baad is mostly reported in Afghanistan's provinces of Kunar, Helmand and Balkh.[3][1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Afghanistan: Stop Women Being Given as Compensation". Human Rights Watch. March 8, 2011. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
  2. ^ Alissa Rubin, ed. (February 16, 2012). "For Punishment of Elder's Misdeeds, Afghan Girl Pays the Price". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b c d "Afghan Girls Suffer for Sins of Male Relatives". Wahida Paykan. Institute for War and Peace Reporting. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
  4. ^ United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (2009), Justice for Children in Conflict with the Law, pp. 50, 358-361

External links[edit]