WOMEN IN IRAQ FACE MANY THREATS (scroll down past the other moonbattish junk)
A little known piece of the Iraqi puzzle is that Iraqi women are in serious danger of losing rights they have enjoyed throughout their lives and being marginalized in their new democracy by secular extremists. An Iraqi woman in her 50s n 60s would have been born in a country that held the most advanced family civil code of any Arab nation. Under Hussein, her rights were actually expanded to include sex discrimination, free higher education and maternity leave. These rights deteriorated as the United States instigated the Iran/Iraq war, and further deteriorated during the first Gulf War and the next ten years of economic sanctions. During this period women became jobless, lost their ability to choose their partner in marriage as well as their ability to travel freely. [all the fault of the U.S. - ed.]Ah, for the good old days of expanded rights and freedoms under Saddam - probably as good for women's rights as it is in North Korea now.
Their present predicament is extremely severe. Women in Iraq are facing a threefold danger from US troops and prisons, Islamic fundamentalists and international sex traffickers. Photos of women brutalized in Abu Ghraib briefly appeared on the internet and then disappeared, but this sort of barbarism is widely known in the Middle East and is being reported on by International Operation Watch, the Iraqi Union of Detainees and Prisoners, OWFI, the British Guardian, and the French Agence France Press. Many of these victims have been rounded up and used as hostages to force male relatives to surrender, and have ended up brutalized and raped by Iraqi and US jailers. Women are disappearing off the streets in Iraq, never to be seen again. Many who are rediscovered by their families after being violated by their kidnappers are later murdered by their family members to protect the family honor.
Amazingly, amidst this hostile environment, the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) is bravely standing out and standing up for individual and collective women's' and human rights in Iraq. It is openly feminist, runs two women's shelters, publishes a newspaper called Equality both in English and Arabic, has organized numerous demonstrations and has worked with the Union of Unemployed Workers to demand housing for displaced workers and safe streets. Many of their leaders have received death threats, but they continue on none the less. OWFI is calling for international support, hoping that now the elections are over the US anti-war movement will spark to life to help defend the Iraqi people from its government. (Freedom Socialist, December 2004-January 2005)
It is especially a shame that such good neighbors as Iran under the mullahs and Iraq under Saddam should be forced into a war with each other by the U.S. And of course everybody knows about the American soldiers raping their female prisoners.
Amazing that the Left™ is having trouble winning national elections.