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Need Help Clearing Up pre-war Iraq living conditions

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joeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 07:46 AM
Original message
Need Help Clearing Up pre-war Iraq living conditions
I was recently at a dinner party when one of the guests made a statement about Iraq. He just returned from a tour over there in the Army. He said one of the things he was most proud of was that women were being treated equally and little girls could go to school for the first time.

I thought Iraq was most mostly a secular country and there were freedoms that women enjoyed that are not seen in other countries such as Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. Can someone cite any sources about what was the general state of Iraq before the war, especially in regards to the treatment of women?

I don't think he was trying to be political but because the military wasn't there to experience pre-war conditions, they use false claims to pump up the morale of the troops.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. He's an idiot and must have Afghanistan and Iraq confused. here's a link
http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/wrd/iraq-women.htm

snip..Until the 1990s, Iraqi women played an active role in the political and economic development of Iraq. A robust civil society had existed prior to the coup d'etat in 1968, including a number of women's organizations.3 The Ba'ath Party dismantled most of these civil society groups after its seizure of power. Shortly thereafter it established the General Federation of Iraqi Women (GFIW).4 The GFIW grew to play a significant role in implementing state policy, primarily through its role in running more than 250 rural and urban community centers offering job-training, educational, and other social programs for women and acting as a channel for communication of state propaganda.5 Female officers within the GFIW also played a role in the implementation of legal reforms advancing women's status under the law and in lobbying for changes to the personal status code.6 On the other hand, some Iraqi women have argued that as a political arm of the Ba'ath party, the GFIW was destructive to women's issues in Iraq and "did not reflect or represent the struggle of millions of oppressed Iraqi women."7

The primary legal underpinning of women's equality is contained in the Iraqi Provisional Constitution, which was drafted by the Ba'ath party in 1970. Article 19 declares all citizens equal before the law regardless of sex, blood, language, social origin, or religion. In January 1971, Iraq also ratified the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which provide equal protection under international law to all.8

In order to further its program of economic development, the government passed a compulsory education law mandating that both sexes attend school through the primary level.9 Although middle and upper class Iraqi women had been attending university since the 1920s, rural women and girls were largely uneducated until this time. In December 1979, the government passed further legislation requiring the eradication of illiteracy.10 All illiterate persons between ages fifteen and forty-five were required to attend classes at local "literacy centers," many of which were run by the GFIW. Although many conservative sectors of Iraqi society refused to allow women in their communities to go to such centers (despite potential prosecution), the literacy gap between males and females narrowed.11


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joeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. perfect, thanks
Edited on Mon Mar-05-07 07:57 AM by joeprogressive
He is very naive and believes all of the lies. I didn't want to challenge him on it because he is a good guy and the setting wasn't right. I will email him this link.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. here an article
IRAQ: Women were more respected under Saddam, say womens groups
http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=26289
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joeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. thanks
n/t
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