Are Afghan Women Really Canada’s Top Priority?

A few weeks ago, the news of a new law for Shi'a Muslims in Afghanistan was met with outrage in governments and media around the world.  This law would, among other things, force women to have sex with their husbands and obligate them to seek permission for activities outside the house. News since then has indicated that the law will be reviewed. I hope that this is a situation where the widespread condemnation will actually force a change in the law, which, from all that I've read, sounds … [Read more...]

Oppressed and Downtrodden: The New York Times Profiles Abused Afghan Women

Covering Afghan women must be an especially hard task for many Western journalists. I say this because every piece I have read about Afghan women makes them seem like they are some of the most oppressed women in the world, with little to no hope for happiness, sans intervention by a Western savior or "Western" inspired program of some sort. A recent New York Times piece on Afghan women fleeing domestic violence, unfortunately, does little to break from this pattern.Even before reading the … [Read more...]

The Commercialization and De-Politization of IWD: A giant leap backwards for woman kind

This was originally published at Hurriyet Daily News. The author is unknown.In a Fethiye beauty salon window, I saw an advertisement suggesting customers celebrate International Women’s Day, or IWD, by getting a manicure and a new hairdo. I received messages from my bank wishing me "Happy Women’s Day." And then there were the ads on TV: "Buy a diamond for your darling on World Women’s Day!" I was confused. This wasn’t my idea of what this globally recognized day was supposed to be about, but p … [Read more...]

A Look at Women in Iran 30 years after the Islamic Revolution

It has been 30 years since the Islamic Revolution in Iran and Western media has a slew of various features looking at Iran. The subject of many of these features is Iranian women and, the common themes in these stories are that Iranian women have made some progress, but that more progress has to be made.There is the usual focus on hijab, with stories pointing out that hijab is mandatory. The AFP seemed particularly focused on hijab: "The Islamic republic still struggles to keep women properly … [Read more...]