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Why I Am Not Taking Part in These Phony Elections

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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:20 PM
Original message
Why I Am Not Taking Part in These Phony Elections
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0128-30.htm
Published on Friday, January 28, 2005 by the Guardian/UK
Why I Am Not Taking Part in These Phony Elections
Women are the new victims of Islamic groups intent on restoring a medieval barbarity
by Houzan Mahmoud


I am an Iraqi woman, and I am boycotting Sunday's elections. Women who do vote will be voting for an enslaved future. Surely, say those who support these elections, after decades of tyranny, here at last is a form of democracy, imperfect, but democracy nevertheless?

In reality, these elections are, for Iraq's women, little more than a cruel joke. Amid the suicide attacks, kidnappings and US-led military assaults of the 20-odd months since Saddam's fall, the little-reported phenomenon is the sharp increase in the persecution of Iraqi women. Women are the new victims of Islamic groups intent on restoring a medieval barbarity and of a political establishment that cares little for women's empowerment.

Having for years enjoyed greater rights than other women in the Middle East, women in Iraq are now losing even their basic freedoms. The right to choose their clothes, the right to love or marry whom they want. Of course women suffered under Saddam. I fled his cruel regime. I personally witnessed much brutality, but the subjugation of women was never a goal of the Baath party. What we are seeing now is deeply worrying: a reviled occupation and an openly reactionary Islamic armed insurrection combining to take Iraq into a new dark age.

Every day, leaflets are distributed across the country warning women against going out unveiled, wearing make-up, or mixing with men. Many female university students have given up their studies to protect themselves against the Islamists.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. The Oraganisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq (link)
the writer is a member...

http://www.equalityiniraq.com/english.htm

<snip from the "who we are" portion of the site>

Women are the victims of violence and backward religious traditions in Iraq, and are in desperate need of shelter and protection from random acts of aggression. These women are subject to continuous threat of being:

killed by their husbands or male relatives (honor killings)

Burnt or mutilated for suspicion of shameful acts

publicly executed or shot by the police

kidnapped and secretly murdered

in state of despair and see no other way than to commit suicide

Consequently, millions of women undergo sexual discrimination encouraged by Islamist activists and Saddams regime that urge all God Loving men to oppress their women so as to abide by an Islamic submissive lifestyle that was created hundreds of years ago. This situation has been introduced and enhanced in the last decade, and does not allow women basic standards of human dignity. Other Reasons that result in the deterioration of social status of women in Iraq:

Hundreds of thousands of women were widowed by consecutive wars, and genocide executed by Saddams army

Economic sanctions spread out poverty to unthinkable extents where every widow finds herself responsible of a family with no sort of support or social insurance

Recent years changes in civil laws so as to allow honor killings and referral to backward and barbaric tribal law

Absence of supremacy of law, allowing Islamist misogynist practices which the ruling Baath party chose to apply by committing mass killings on women.


Local Womens Movements

Independent Womens organization (IWO) was formed on 8th of March 1992 in North of Iraq with the efforts of volunteering individuals. Since then, women sheltering services began to be provided. These include armed protection, safe dwelling and legal services.

IWO has proved to be the only organization to fully adopt a comprehensive campaign of advocating Iraqi womens rights and for that had gained the support of local radical movements. IWO has extended its influence to international locations that attracted masses of Iraqi refugees. It is represented now in Canada, England and Australia. Our committee (DIWR) in Canada was founded on May 20, 1998 and has pursued

Investigating into the status of Iraqi women with a focus on Kurdistan of Iraq where the absence of supremacy of law resulted in giving way to ancient tribal practices against women encouraged by recent Islamist influences.


The need for these services?

In order to gain a broad perspective of the local scene, and a sense of the urgency to activate change towards the womens cause in Iraqi Kurdistan, we refer to one recent statistical figure done in North of Iraq - Kurdistan

- That could explain it all:

Within a population of 5 Million in Iraqi Kurdistan

4000 honor killings (1990-1999)

Hundreds of burnt women

Tens of honor driven mutilations against women

Thousands of circumcised (genitally mutilated) girls yearly till this present day

<snip>
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Dear God, the horrors just don't cease do they? Thanks for the link. nt
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. thanks for the post glitch, this provides some added, and troubling,
context to the situation in Iraq.

(aside: nominated for homepage)
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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. and under a Shia regime, it won't get better for women
Where's Xena when you need her?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
5. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
6. "an openly reactionary Islamic armed insurrection" n/t
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