you mean, women are people too?

Comments

4 comments posted
re: women's rights in Irag

I think the bigger concern is to get a constitution, any constituion, voter approved.

Women don't have political rights in most Middle East countries and are unlikely to receive them even if the Irag constituion gives them rights. Unfortunately, women have to work and demand equall rights. There are women in Irag, Afganistan, even Syria and Iran working to get women some some personal freedom, but until both religion and government support their efforts rather than work against them, it is not likely to happen.

It's hard enough to keep women from giving away their 'rights' and freedoms here in the USA where we have a long history of women's participation in decision making. I think the question should be why are so many women in USA so willing to accept second rate citizenship? Ignorance? Tradition? Fear? Laziness? I don't understand.

Robin Lee's picture
Posted by Robin Lee on 22 August 2005 - 7:09am
re: re: women's rights

I'm not trying to be sarcastic/bitchy here (for once), but I'd like to know...so you would rather have us give up on women's rights in Iraq, thus affirming their 2nd-class-citizen status, just so that the rest of the country (read: those privileged by the man-happy interpretations of Islamic law) can be "free"?

I'm really bad at remembering names and all, but I know there's a quote from a very influential person well versed in feminist and international studies that says that one of the best indicators of the level of a democracy in general, and of basic human rights, in any country is the status of women's rights.

Contrary to what seems like popular belief, women's rights are, in fact, important in developing a free democratic state.

Also, by terming them "women's rights" and speaking of them as if they were, in fact, secondary, we actually manage to make them into secondary democratic characteristics, and place women again as second-class citizens.

In reality, they're more than just "women's rights." They're human rights, which is a category that must exist in order for a state to actually be considered any kind of democracy.

I don't think anyone's expecting an Iraq constitution that upholds at least the small amount of rights women enjoyed under Saddam's regime to change the entire political arena of the Middle East for women. But you've got to start somewhere. And after doing so much irreversible damage there, I think we owe it to the Iraqi women to support their struggle to maintain/gain equal rights.

Keep in mind that much of "religion and government" worked against the suffragists back in the early 1900s, too. Are you saying they should have just abandoned their fight until these two supported them? Because chances are, had they sat back and waited until the time was "right" for a revolution, that time never would have come, and you and I still wouldn't be able to vote, hold political office, etc. There would've been no women's lib movement.

You don't wait for the "right time" for a revolution. Any time that you feel it's necessary is the right time. Even for small revolution-inducers like this.

And as for your second paragraph...

I'm only going to give that one sentence as an answer, in Twisty style:

I blame the patriarchy.

ferdette's picture
Posted by ferdette on 22 August 2005 - 8:30am
re: women's/human rights

((I'm not trying to be sarcastic/bitchy here (for once), but I'd like to know...so you would rather have us give up on women's rights in Iraq, thus affirming their 2nd-class-citizen status, just so that the rest of the country (read: those privileged by the man-happy interpretations of Islamic law) can be "free"?))

I am for supporting women's rights globally, and that includes women's rights in Iraq. However, realistically, with Bush nominated mentors, it probably isn't going to happen. Their goal is to gain some sort of local stablity long enough to claim a second victory and start pulling US soldiers out of Bush's war.

If patriarchy stifles women here, what must it do in Iraq where assassination is actively encouraged by religious leaders? Iraq women voted in the last election. They will vote in the constitution election. The best think women there can get right now is a constitutional right to a private vote. That is where we started.

We cannot give Iraq's women or any other group of women their 'rights.' They must demand and take them. Their rights might not be our rights. We have to support women around the world by setting an example of how to gain and protect women/human rights. Certainly, voicing concern and alarm is part of that.

I do not disagree with anything you say. My point is only that we cannot force our political viewpoints/goverment/culture on anyone. I do not believe Iraq will have what we consider a democracy. I think there are many women in the Middle East actively working for women/human rights, and I don't believe they will give up their fight. They are very courageous and deserve and need more than just vocal support. If there is a women's group working to help Iraq's women gain their rights, then promote donations for that purpose.

((Keep in mind that much of "religion and government" worked against the suffragists back in the early 1900s, too. Are you saying they should have just abandoned their fight until these two supported them? ))

No. They didn't and they paid the price, which leaves me in awe. Women in the '60 & '70's paid the price and even today women continue to pay the price with every protest, inequality, and slur. However, many contemporary women are abandoning their rights and not just because of an active patriarchy. Church leaders have gotten savvy and are spin-twisting science and church belief to suit their own devices. (Remember, women are the backbone of church membership.) Women choose to follow these doctrines, to turn from adult responsibilites 'rights' engender. Women who know our rights for the precious, fragile thing they are need to find concrete answers as to why so many women are turning away, to open presuasive dialogs.

Robin Lee's picture
Posted by Robin Lee on 22 August 2005 - 9:54am
Remeber the Union of Soviet

Remeber the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? They were not a democracy, yet they had it in their name. The united staes was not a true democracy, oh wait...the US is not a democracy but a republic, and was not a truely free republic till around the 1970s.

I would not want women in Iraq to become second class citizens, but that is where it is heading. Equal rights for women is something that most of the MidEast do not want

OleBlue's picture
Posted by OleBlue on 23 August 2005 - 1:21pm