Tag Archives: women rights

Women Rights Blasted In “Democratic”Afghan

I vividly recall President Bush using as justification the invasion of Afghanistan that America was saving the women of that nation from the barbarous rule of the Taliban and from now on they would have equal rights with those of men. The Afghanistan parliament has quietly passed a bill which allows Shia men to deny their wives food and sustenance if they refuse to obey their husband’s sexual demands. It also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers and requires women to secure permission from their husbands in order to work. According to Human Rights Watch, “it also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying ‘blood money’ to a girl who was injured when he raped her.”

To those in America who believe we are fighting to protect democracy in Afghanistan, let me publish an excerpt from the law: “Tamkeen is the readiness of the wife to submit to her husband’s reasonable sexual enjoyment, and her prohibition from going out of the house, except in extreme circumstances, without her husband’s permission. If any of the above provisions are not followed by the wife she is considered disobedient.”

How about informing the Afghanistan government we are packing up and allowing them to handle the Taliban unless women rights are protected? Why the hell should American men and women risk their lives to support this oppression of women?

Turkish Women Unite For Equal Rights

Turkish women groups have urged introduction of education at all levels of society that would heighten awareness of the need for gender equity. Their demand was in response to a decision of the European Court of Human Rights which punished the Turkish government for failure to provide its female citizens with better protection against domestic abuse. Hulya Gulbar, chairwoman of the Association for Educating and Supporting Women Candidates, said, “there m ust be gender equality education for the whole of society, including the president and the prime minister.” Women are now claiming the Turkish government has a responsibility to protect women who are being abused by husbands in their family lives. This is a new concept for many Muslim societies.

Turkey, like several other Muslim societies has not addressed the issue of abuse by husband of their wives. Fortunately, Turkish women are not taking a meek attitude but now have the support of an European Union court to fight for their rights.

Turkey Fined For Failing To End Women Abuse

The European Court of Human Rights issued an historic decision which fined Turkey 36,500 eruos for failing to protect one of its citizens from domestic violence. Nahide Opuz, told the court that she had asked for assistance from Turkish authorities from her husband who wound up killing her mother. Despite her evidence of constant physical abuse, death threats, and physical injuries, nothing was done. The Turkish response to her claim is Ms. Opuz and her mother would make charges against the husband but then withdraw them which, of course, is natural when a woman fears for her life and doubts if the police will protect her.

The court decision noted: “a culture of violence has developed in Turkey and violence is tolerated in many areas of life.” A government should at least understand that women are vulnerable in Turkey to physical violence from their husbands and they need more support than merely filing papers.

Ahmadinejad On Defense As Rivals Blast Him!

Thousands of Iranians, many of them women, took to the streets in another mass demonstration against the policies of President Ahmadinejad. To add to his problems, an important cleric, Akbar Hashemi Rasfanjani sent an open letter to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accusing Ahmadinejad of lying about his record and that of former president Khatami. He accused the president of “mis-statements and fabrications” and asked him “to resolve this position in order to extinguish the fire whose smoke can be seen in the atmosphere and to foil dangerous plots to take action.” Even as the letter circulated in the country countless thousands were demonstrating against a man who is slowly losing support of key figures in the nation. Khamenei has already rebuked Ahmadinejad for his remarks in the debate with Mousavi.

Women increasingly are assuming a major role in the election. They are not only prepared to vote but are in the streets waving banners, organizing demonstrations, and openly expressing their anger toward Ahmadinejad. Hopefully, this is a sign women are going to demand equal rights in Iran.

Afghan Women Protest Male Laws Against Women

Hundreds of Afghan women took to the streets to protest new legislation which, in effect, forces a woman to accept abuse from her husband including submitting to his sexual desires or even asking his permission to step out of the house. Women regard this law as legalizing marital rape and an abandonment by the Karzai government of the rights of women. Dozens of police battled a mob of men who came out to protest the fact women were actually walking through the streets –unaccompanied by their husbands– and loudly proclaiming their opposition to male efforts to reduce women to the position of being a chattel of men. The men shouted at women, spat at them and even pelted females with stones. Perhaps, this is all allowed in the Quran, but this non-expert doubts any religion would condone such behavior on the part of men towards women.

Sima Ghani, a female activist denounced the law and the behavior of the men. “This law is against Islam and it’s against women. Women have God given rights. But these men are claiming those rights in the name of culture.” Of course, there is nothing in the Quran about women being compelled to dress in a burqa or completely submit to a man’s carnal desires.

The real problem is that President Karzai gave in to militants in order to avoid having problems with fundamentalist views in Afghanistan.

A Woman Trapped In Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is among the countries which allegedly are engaged in the fight to stamp out terrorism in the world. However, it is also a country in which sharia law is evident regarding the treatment of women. Nathalie Morin, a Canadian woman, fell in love with a man from Saudi Arabia and returned with him to his homeland. She has three children with the Saudi man and is now trapped in limbo in an apartment in Saudi Arabia where she must obey her husband and can not even leave to go outside without his permission. In a recent call home to her mother, Nathalie said: “I want to come back to Canada” but she cannot leave without permission of the husband. The Canadian government insists it contacted the Saudis who sent someone to investigate and all they discovered was a happy man and woman.

Nathalie came back twice to Canada but returned to Saudi Arabia where the children were living with dad. The Canadian government insists she returned on her own free will, but in prior cases, she did not have her children with her in Canada. She told her mother of an abusive relationship that she could not escape due to the children being under the control of her husband.

This is simply another case of the rights of women in Saudi Arabia. After all, Saudi Arabia is the nation which funded militant groups all over the world which have created chaos and destruction. Perhaps, if Saudi Arabia truly supported democracy within its own nation, it might support democracy in other nations.

Afghan President Blasted For Anti-Female Law!

The Western world exploded with fury at the new law signed by President Karzai of Afghanistan which, in effect, allows a husband to rape his wife. The law says a woman can not refuse sex with her husband, leave the house without his permission, get a job or go to school unless hubby gives approval. Prime Minister Gordon Brown made known his fury at this piece of medieval jurisprudence by telling President Karzai in no uncertain terms what he thought about the law. “I made it perfectly clear to the president that we could be tolerate that situation. You cannot have British troops fighting, and in some cases dying, to save a democracy where that democracy is infringing human rights.”

President Karzai initially rejected criticism on grounds the West had “misinterpreted” the law but said it would be reviewed. Where is President Obama on this issue? American troops can not fight to support such a government. Either they adhere to basic democratic rights for ALL members of society or just let the Taliban take over– at least they are honest about their brutality and undemocratic views.

Why Did America Defeat Taliban In 2001?

As i recall, in 2001, President Bush cited as among the reasons for invading Afghanistan, the terrible record of the Muslim fanatics toward issues of women rights. Hamid Karzai, the man we essentially installed as president of Afghanistan, signed into law a new piece of legislation which forbids women from leaving their house without the husband’s permission. It also allows a man to have sex with his wife regardless of her feelings. OOps, we are not being fair. It says if a woman is feeling bad or having one of those female moments, she can decline the husband’s desire to rape her. The new law also grants custody of children to the husband or the grandfather.

Shinkai Karokhail, like other female members of the legislature, complained the bill was pushed through rather rapidly, with limited debate and all of its provisions have not been made public. Karzai signed the bill last month, undoubtedly in his attempt to curry favor among Muslim fundamentalists. Westerners are not loudly protesting, oh well, Karzai is among the “good guys” and when he behaves like a member of the Taliban, we just excuse away his behavior as we have his corruption and incompetence.

Say, why DID we invade Afghanistan?

Turkish Women Still Fight For Equal Rights

The release of a major report in January regarding women rights in Turkey upset many people when they learned 42% of Turkish women have been victims of physical or sexual violence by a male relative at least once in their lives. Moreover, the vast majority of women have victims of psychological abuse. Nebahat Akkoc, founder of the Diyarbakir based Women’s Consultation and Solidarity Center, (KAMER) is optimist because recent changes in Turkish law relating to women’s rights more or less meet standards of the European Union. However, despite this step forward, “although these rights exist on paper now, they are still waiting for more decisive implementation.” In a sense, the laws now run ahead of society’s acceptance of what should be rights for women.

KAMER has ventured into the economic sphere and assists women to start up their own business enterprise. The organization also conducts workshops to raise awareness for women on their legal rights since many do not know of recent changes in the Penal Code.

Perhaps, if the Turkish government were to establish an economic incentive program for budding female entrepreneurs, it might help spark a growth in female rights.

Islamic Women In Malaysia Demand Rights!

There is an increasing tendency on the part of conservative fundamentalist clerics to issue edicts about aspects of modern life that bear no relation to anything about religion but say a great deal about their desire to impose upon people conformity in thinking. A religious order banning women from dressing like “tomboys” was bad enough, but now there is an edict forbidding them to engage in yoga because it is connected to the Hindu religion. A group of Malaysian women have concluded it is time to fight religion with religion. The Musawah(equality) project has emerged under which women will seek to take back their society from the clerics. They have no problem with the Koran but considerable with men who interpret the Koran to fit their preconceived ideas.

Zib a Mis-Hosseini argues “feminist Islamic scholarship is trying to unearth the facts that were there” and examine the legal tradition in a scholarly manner in order to confront clerics with facts not opinions. She believes Iranians were moving toward more liberal view of the Koran until Bush policies created fear and gave fundamentalists more power.

Unfortunately, there is a thousand years of male legalistic jargon which dominates the Muslim religion and it is doubtful if women in the near future can undo the power of the past.