The War on Iraqi Women

May 28, 2007 at 10:17 am (injustice, politics, sexism)

There’s an important interview with Iraqi women’s rights activist Yanar Mohammed up at Alternet. Recommended. Just a short excerpt:

Anderson: Besides the mistaken notion that women in Iraq are enjoying more freedom now than before the beginning of the current war, which tends to be a party line over here, what other misconceptions about what’s going on in actuality in Iraq do you feel you could disabuse us of on this end?

Mohammed: Well, the myth of democracy has killed already half a million Iraqis, and if it were giving us real democracy, where people are represented according to their political affiliations or their economic understanding or their social justice affiliations, that would have been understood. But the way Iraqis are represented is according to their religion and their ethnicities. It is as if the U.S. administration is trying to tell the whole world that Iraqis are not entitled to political understanding or political activity.

The political formula that was forwarded to us is a total insult for a part of the world where the politics are very much thriving and all kinds of politics — with the dawn of the war, thousands of political parties have registered. And they all wanted to be competing, or let’s say running into democracy, but who was empowered, who was supported? It’s mostly the religious and mostly the ethnic groups, and the women’s groups?

The U.S. administration wasn’t really interested to speak to, let’s say, free women’s groups. They preferred to bring decorative factors to the parliament, where they look like women, but they all voted for a constitution that is against women. And the constitution at this moment has imposed Shariah law upon us, when in the times before the war we had more of a secular constitution that respected women’s rights. So, it’s one more thing lost for this war.

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