Iraq Better for Women Under Saddam

This article speaks for itself:

Saddam Better for Women
Sanjay Suri

LONDON, Mar 29 (IPS) - Women were far better off under former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein, a women's group has found after an extensive survey in Iraq.

''Under the previous dictator regime, the basic rights for women were enshrined in the constitution,'' Houzan Mahmoud from the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq told IPS in an interview. The group is a sister organization of MADRE, an international women's rights group.

Under Saddam, she said, ''women could go out to work, university and get married or divorced in civil courts. But at the moment women have lost almost all their rights and are being pushed back into the corner of their house.''

The recent constitution which was written under the U.S. government's supervision is ''very backward and anti-women,'' Mahmoud said. ''They make Islam the source for law making, and the main official religion of the country. This in itself means Islamic Sharia law and according to this women will be considered second-class citizens and will have no power in deciding over their lives.''

The whole of Iraqi society has been subjected to ''chaos and brutalisation,'' she said. ''Security is absent, all basic services, and above all the protection for women's rights is in no way on the agenda of any of the political parties who have been hand-picked by the U.S. administration in the installed so-called parliament.''

MADRE is calling for the deployment of a United Nations-led peacekeeping force and an immediate end to the U.S. occupation. As the crisis in Iraq intensifies, the group says women and their families in Iraq face an urgent need for security, functional government, and the provision of basic services within a human rights framework.

Women would first like to see ''an end to the military occupation which has created chaos and destruction of Iraqi society and also resulted in the daily mass killing of ordinary Iraqis.''

Women particularly would ''want to see security restored so at least they can go out freely without being attacked, kidnapped or having acid thrown on their face,'' Mahmoud said. ''In addition, women want equality, freedom and their rights to be recognised in the constitution, and above all to be treated as equal human beings.'' (END/2006)


  1. Jim Cheever sent this link to a woman's powerful testimony about the "clash of civilizations."

    Wish the world could/would take her advice.

  2. I saw the woman's speech, of which you speak, and I had a different reaction.

    I felt that she was blaming and labeling, and quite zealous in her "secular" approach.

    The fact is that it is not Islam that is to blame for the world's problems with violence.

    Capitalism and the resultant Western societies' exploitation of global resources (including labor) is to blame for the world's problems with violence and "clashing."

    Maybe I was reading into her diatribe wrongly though. I only had the captions to go off, as I don't have sound on the computers I am using.


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