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Imprisoning Women In Their Homes Does Not Make Them Safe

lmarshalls Icon Posted by Lucinda Marshall

June 16th, 2006

An IRIN story earlier this week reports that an Iraqi NGO, the Women’s Rights Association (WRA), is reporting a rise in cases of sexual abuse in Iraq. Actually there is nothing new in this. Madre, the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) and Code Pink have been sounding the alarm about this for quite some time.

Unfortunately, the article did not see fit to interview anyone from these organizations, but rather quotes the Iraqi Ministry of Interior as saying,

“This is a Muslim county and any attack on a woman’s modesty is also an attack on our religious beliefs,”

and goes on to say that both Sunni and Shi’ite religious leaders are giving sermons that advise men,

“to keep women safe at home rather than allowing them (to) go out to work.”

Aside from the minor fact that imprisoning women in their homes is an oxymornoic method of insuring their safety, it totally ignores the fact that as dangerous as the streets of Iraq have gotten, women are also at risk of sexual assault in their own homes. It’s unfortunate that the article didn’t recognize this or question the clerics’ solution for safeguarding women.

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