Friday, September 16, 2011

Are women worse off after the Arab Spring?

While ridding the Muslim world of the dictators who made life difficult for men living under their iron fists was good for the men, what has this done for the women? Women who were briefly given equality during the Russian occupation in Afghanistan were rudely torn away from their jobs and education as soon as the Mujaheddin took over. Women professors in Iran were fired once the Mullahs took over Iran from the students who started the rebellion and were forbidden to teach.

The story is repeating itself in Egypt and Libya. There have been a spate of articles detailing the disenfranchisement of the women who were equal partners in the rebellion but have been shunted to the sidelines as the men consider enforcing Shariah law.

In this recent NY Times article, the women who aided the rebellion against Qaddafi are being given no place in the emerging leadership. "Libya’s 45-member Transitional National Council includes just one woman. The council’s headquarters does not have a women’s bathroom."

In 'Three cups of tea,' Mortensen writes that to lift a village out of poverty, one must educate the girls. They return to the village and rise it up out of poverty. The same must apply to a country. We must encourage the countries that emerge from the Arab spring to ensure education of women to bring them out of poverty and into the first world.


  1. sure is a problem! mixing religion and government can lead to less rights for people in general.

  2. That's a pretty broad statement, Ellen. The Soviet people had far fewer rights in their religion-free utopia than we have in America with a sprinkling of religion on top of our government.

    Rights get restricted when a particular religion is used by its host government to restrict the rights of certain groups of people. That is what happens when Iran and Afghanistan employ Shariah law or when the British and Dutch royals allowed persecution of Catholics by Protestants and vice versa