Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Sum of 41

On a day when Bush presumes to lecture the United Nations about that body's lack of initiative in terms of "spreading freedom," Sahar's entry on the loss of freedom for Iraq's women seems more than apropos:
They crossed the high seas; they poured out their billions; they sacrificed their sons … to "liberate" Iraqis … but what we, the women of Iraq got, is article 41.

In 1959 the Iraqi government amended the Personal Status Law. Article 118 came into being as part of our constitution.

It gave the women of Iraq the most progressive of all Arab and Islamic women's rights legislation until this very day. No discrimination in salaries, no discrimination in uniforms, the separated Mums get to keep the home until the children are of age, and so many other items that made the female community of Iraq one of the most progressive female communities within the Arab, Islamic and regional states – from that time … until we got "liberated".

Now we have article 41.

In brief, it says go to your cleric and he will deal with whatever issues you have.

Girls had the choice either to don the Islamic hijab or walk abroad in safety, quaintly dressed in all manner of modern garments. It was a private matter that was entirely resolved inside the family and according to its own convictions, its own beliefs. Now it's not safe for a girl to step outside her home unless fully covered. How much more liberated can you get??

Girls used to be free to drive their cars in safety all over the city to all appropriate hours. Now it has suddenly become shameful for them to do so.


Why have we lost our rights?

For what have we been pushed back into the dark ages?

How can this be liberation if my daughter has fewer rights than I did at her age? If she has less control over her life than I did? Fewer choices than even her grandmother had?

Why have we been forgotten?? Neither our Parliament nor our Government cares. They are up there for their own interests.

But what about the powers that crossed the high seas to liberate us?? They poured out their billions; they sacrificed their sons … to "liberate" us … but what we, the women of Iraq got, is article 41.

Go to your cleric – he is sure to solve all your issues.

You're welcome Sahar. Please send the flowers and candies to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue c/o Laura Bush:

Well, the good news that came out of Iraq [is] that the Governing Council has been able to write this agreement so they can begin to write the constitution is very good news. And even though I don't know what all is in that agreement, I do understand that women's rights are protected in that agreement, and I like that very much.

I want the women of Iraq to know how much American women stand with them.

And George Bush:

In the last four years, we have also seen women make great strides in...Iraq -- [a country] where just a few years ago women were denied basic rights and were brutalized by [a] tyrant...

Now who wants to be liberated next? What, no takers?

(h/t to J-Hen)

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