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. It is still practiced in certain areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, mainly among the Kochis. Although baad is illegal under Afghan law, many of the victims do not know their rights, and still more are prevented from exercising them.
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. 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.
The practice of baad has no Islamic basis. It is rather considered un-Islamic and illegal. 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].
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.
- "Afghanistan: Stop Women Being Given as Compensation". Human Rights Watch. March 8, 2011. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
- Alissa Rubin, ed. (February 16, 2012). "For Punishment of Elder's Misdeeds, Afghan Girl Pays the Price". The New York Times.
- "Afghan Girls Suffer for Sins of Male Relatives". Wahida Paykan. Institute for War and Peace Reporting. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
- United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (2009), Justice for Children in Conflict with the Law, pp. 50, 358-361
- "Afghan Women and the Return of the Taliban", Bibi Aisha cover story in Time magazine