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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

More on The Worst Place in the World

(Keywords: politics, war, Iraq, feminism, how to make a horrible place worse )

Bonnie Erbe's written a great column about the situation of women in Iraq. It turns out that women were actually better off under Saddam Hussein.

"A new poll of leaders of Iraqi women's-rights groups finds that women were treated better and their civil rights were more secure under deposed President Saddam Hussein than under the faltering and increasingly sectarian U.S.-installed government.

"This is doubly troubling. It's troubling first because the Bush administration used the issue of women to justify its now widely criticized invasion of Iraq in part by promising to improve the situation of women."

Sadly, this is not news, but an ongoing struggle for iraqi women - a struggle overshadowed by the larger sectarian struggles. Last July, Common Dreams ran the story that iraqi women's rights were being lost in the new constitution.

"'We express our deepest concern and worry about the drafts lately released by the (Iraqi) Constitutional Committee, specifically relating to the chapter on duties and rights, in which the (Islamic) sharia law was clearly stated as the main source of legislation in the new Iraqi constitution,' the Iraqi Women's Movement said in an appeal to the United Nations.

"According to this draft, the new Iraqi transitional government acknowledges the equal rights of men and women in all fields -- 'as long as it doesn't contradict with sharia law.'

"If implemented, the proposed new laws will restrict women's rights, specifically in matters relating to marriage, divorce and family inheritance. A marriage enjoined by a woman's free will is likely to be made more difficult, and divorces by men relatively easier."

Yet another pretense for war has died.