Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Iraqi women find election a cruel joke

I am an Iraqi woman, and I am boycotting the elections. Women who do vote will be voting for an enslaved future. Surely, say those who support these elections, after decades of tyranny, here at last is a form of democracy, imperfect, but democracy nevertheless?

In reality, these elections are, for Iraq's women, little more than a cruel joke. Amid the suicide attacks, kidnappings and U.S.-led military assaults since Saddam Hussein's fall, the little-reported phenomenon is the sharp increase in the persecution of Iraqi women. Women are the new victims of Islamic groups intent on restoring a medieval barbarity and of a political establishment that cares little for women's empowerment.

Having for years enjoyed greater rights than other Middle East women, women in Iraq are losing even their basic freedoms -- the right to choose their clothes, the right to love or marry whom they want. Of course women suffered under Saddam. I fled his cruel regime. I personally witnessed much brutality but the subjugation of women was never a Baath Party goal. What we are seeing is deeply worrying: a reviled occupation and an openly reactionary Islamic armed insurrection taking Iraq into a new dark age.

Every day, leaflets are distributed across the country warning women against going out unveiled, wearing makeup or mixing with men. Many female university students have given up their studies to protect themselves against the Islamists.

In an even slightly less imperfect world, the chowderheaded neocons trumpeting elections as a panacea would give a rat's ass about this stuff. In the real world, you will hear very little about it.


Blogger Erik said...

Hello Blue call me ignorant I never looked at it that way. I know worlds not perfect and we have long way to go to get perfect, but still you have a point of concern.
I have been reading this book a trilogy bundled in one about the a true story of a Saoedi princess some parts in it are to horrible to imagine, still women in that kingdom do fight a silent fight to improve their situation.
My point is yes you have to stand up for your rights we all have to.... make it work for Iraqi women.... DO IT!

8:09 AM  

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