<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: Rights for Iraqi women are retrogressing

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Rights for Iraqi women are retrogressing

You know the constitution Iraq is in the process of writing? As it stands right now, Iraqi women's rights are about to be set back 50 years. New family law provisions inserted by the ruling Shiite religious parties would make Koranic law the supreme authority on marriage, divorce, and inheritance.

If this constitution is adopted, women from Shiite families would be stripped of their rights to choose their own husbands, inherit property on an equal basis with men, and seek court protection if their husbands decide to declare them divorced. Less severe laws would be imposed on Sunni women, but only because the draft constitution weirdly allows for separate systems of family law in the same country. Considering that Sunnis and Shiites marry each other all the time, this is not only offensive but completely impractical.

So in other words, personal freedoms that survived even Saddam Hussein's tyranny are about to be lost under a democratic government sponsored and protected by the United States.

As the NY Times asks, "Is this the kind of freedom President Bush claims is on the march in the Middle East? Is this the example America hopes Iraq will set for other states in the region? Is this the result that American soldiers, men and women, are sacrificing their lives for?"



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