This is George Bush’s accountability moment. That’s why I’m here. The mainstream media aren’t holding him accountable. Neither is Congress. So I’m not leaving Crawford until he’s held accountable. - Cindy Sheehan

There are things worth fighting for. And there are even some worth dying for. But Iraq is not one of them. - James Moore

Marriage is love.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Iraq’s war on women

By Leslie Abdela, courtesy of Juan Cole's Informed Comment

a few excerpts:

'Just as Iraqi women were anticipating a new era of democracy and freedom, a wave of intimidation by extremist groups has arisen to crush their hopes. Violent oppression of women is spreading across Iraq, a weapon of mass mental and physical destruction. And yet there is silence from world leaders, religious leaders, politicians and the media.

Insurgents and religious extremists use rape, acid and assassination to force Iraqi women to wear the veil – the symbol of submission, first signal of further repression to come. Many Iraqi women have never worn the scarf. Now, dead bodies of girls and women are found in rivers and on waste ground with a veil tied around the head, as a message.
As well as unveiled women, key targets are those who wear make-up, who are well educated and in the professions, and who work with organisations connected with the coalition forces.'

'On 26 June 2005, I took part in a conference called “Our Constitution, Our Future”. Organised by the international NGO Women for Women, and judiciously situated outside Iraq, on the Jordanian shores of the Dead Sea, it focused on how best to replace restrictive laws and practices so the new constitution conforms to international agreements, particularly the jewel in the crown, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw).

Around 60 Iraqi men and women parliamentarians, academics, activists and members of the drafting committee for the constitution risked their lives to attend.
The division was clear even at the conference: progressive women and men want a secular constitution. More extreme religious groups (which include women) want Islamic Shari’a law.'

For more information here are some

Further Links:
Programme on Governance in the Arab Region
Women living under muslim laws
Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq


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