Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Queen Noor concerned about women's rights in Arab World

A recent New York Times article revealed the concerns Queen Noor of Jordan has about the lack of progress towards Women's Rights in the wake of the Arab Spring. While women were active participants in the revolutions that overthrew the leaders of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, it appears that, as in Iran, political Islam has hijacked the revolution and is working to install Sharia Law with the restrictions this imposes.

“It appears again that women’s rights are once again at risk even as revolution progresses,” she said.

In the same conference where Queen Noor made her comments there were other concerns.

Julia Lalla-Maharajh, the founder of the Orchid Project, which is based in London and campaigns to end female genital cutting, said Egypt had “one of the highest prevalences in the world of female genital cutting: according to Unicef statistics, more than 9 out of 10 women are affected.”
“There are worrying reports that have suggested that female genital cutting is on the rise, with one call in Parliament for a ban on it to be overturned,” she said.

There were warnings about women’s rights in Western nations, as well. Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for the northwest of England, said he had dealt with more than 50 so-called honor killings.
“One after another,” he said, “I was seeing these stories of people who were being killed because they had a boyfriend, they kissed somebody in public, they wanted to learn to drive, they wanted to go to school.”

It's hard for me to watch the bright light of revolution over brutal dictators being co-opted by religious fundamentalists who threaten to take the women of this region backwards in time. 

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