Women's Status in Iraq, Before And After

Interesting article in The Media Line:

Houzan Mahmoud, the Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq’s representative abroad, agreed that the comparison was problematic.

“Both situations are horrible,” she told The Media Line. “Just because we have a terrible situation at the moment doesn’t mean we need to glorify Saddam’s dictatorship.”

“During Saddam’s regime if you were not political you could lead a normal life, but for the majority of us who opposed the dictatorship, it was hell,” Mahmoud said. “You were either for the Ba’ath party under Saddam or you were subjected to torture, persecution and abuse. There was no freedom of speech, no freedom of association, women did not have the right to establish women’s organizations and he also started to bring socially conservative norms into the constitution. So I don’t really like arguments that imply that Saddam Hussein’s regime was great.”

“Now America has invited the most tribalist, misogynist, Islamist extremist groups to join the government,” she continued. “Warlords, ex-Ba’athists, you name it. It’s a government of corrupt pullets that has nothing to do with people’s aspirations for freedom or welfare and which hasn’t brought any normalcy.”

“As a result, there is a lot of gender-based violence at all levels,” Mahmoud concluded. “We have one or two million women who have been widowed and have no access to social benefits. There is widespread violence and the majority of people live under the poverty line, particularly women. There is trafficking of women and young girls for prostitution both internally and externally. Sharia law has been implemented through the constitution and the enforcement of social conservatism has been brought back into the society.”

So, basically, things have moved from sucks to sucks.

Curtsy: Muslimah Media Watch. (A must-read blog, btw.)

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2 Responses to Women's Status in Iraq, Before And After

  1. 1
    Fatemeh says:

    ^__^ Thanks for the love!

  2. 2
    Korolev says:

    That’s America’s plan – it doesn’t matter how corrupt or bad the Iraqi government gets – as long as things LOOK stable and things LOOK fair, they’ll high-tail it out of there as quick as can be. They are looking for any excuse to run from Iraq and wash their hands of the entire affair.

    Maybe Iraq will gradually improve. But that’s not likely, and I really get the feeling that the US government doesn’t give a damn whether or not what happens to Iraq in the long run. Just run away as fast as can be.

    No doubt if things go well, the Republicans will praise Bush. And if things don’t go well, they’ll find some reason to blame it on the Iraqis or the Democrats. So yeah….. bad times ahead.