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Lefty_the_Right
02-17-2005, 02:39 PM
Sunday, January 30, 2005

Iraqi women find election a cruel joke

By HOUZAN MAHMOUD
GUEST COLUMNIST

I am an Iraqi woman, and I am boycotting the elections. Women who do vote will be voting for an enslaved future. Surely, say those who support these elections, after decades of tyranny, here at last is a form of democracy, imperfect, but democracy nevertheless?

In reality, these elections are, for Iraq's women, little more than a cruel joke. Amid the suicide attacks, kidnappings and U.S.-led military assaults since Saddam Hussein's fall, the little-reported phenomenon is the sharp increase in the persecution of Iraqi women. Women are the new victims of Islamic groups intent on restoring a medieval barbarity and of a political establishment that cares little for women's empowerment.

Having for years enjoyed greater rights than other Middle East women, women in Iraq are losing even their basic freedoms -- the right to choose their clothes, the right to love or marry whom they want. Of course women suffered under Saddam. I fled his cruel regime. I personally witnessed much brutality but the subjugation of women was never a Baath Party goal. What we are seeing is deeply worrying: a reviled occupation and an openly reactionary Islamic armed insurrection taking Iraq into a new dark age.

Every day, leaflets are distributed across the country warning women against going out unveiled, wearing makeup or mixing with men. Many female university students have given up their studies to protect themselves against the Islamists.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/209809_iraqiwomanvote.html

Lefty_the_Right
02-17-2005, 02:40 PM
Don't shoot the messenger....

BIG_DADDY
02-17-2005, 02:42 PM
By HOUZAN MAHMOUD

ROFL

KCTitus
02-17-2005, 02:46 PM
Where are Steinem and the gals when you need them...it's imperative that we get a few ugly lesbians over there to set up a NOW office and get things going, stat!

Chiefnj
02-17-2005, 02:57 PM
By HOUZAN MAHMOUD

ROFL

I'm missing what is funny about the name.

Cochise
02-17-2005, 03:16 PM
This sandy bergina was on one of the Saturday news shows a few weeks ago to talk about this column. She's affiliated with the worker-communist party in Iraq or some such nonsense. I guess that's probably why Lefty identifies with her so much.

Lefty_the_Right
02-17-2005, 03:20 PM
I only posted the article, I don't know her personally.

And I'm not really sure how any of that would be relevant to what she said.

Ultra Peanut
02-17-2005, 05:06 PM
Because the would mean she's got an agenda, perhaps?

KCWolfman
02-17-2005, 05:11 PM
I only posted the article, I don't know her personally.

And I'm not really sure how any of that would be relevant to what she said.
Posting an article of one woman's opinion who stupidly applies it to the entire nation of women?

You need legitimate sources of information.

KCWolfman
02-17-2005, 05:14 PM
Let me get this straight.

She lives in Britain, right?

Therefore, the only way she can boycott the election is if she is a recognized exile from her own land.

So she is saying either:

A. I am an exile who lost all rights and I believe I will lose more rights if I vote

or

B. I am not a recognized exile and I am lying about boycotting as I am not eligible to vote anyway.





BRILLIANT@!#$#@

Chiefnj
02-17-2005, 05:17 PM
To speak about the miseries and hardships that the workers in Iraq had suffered in the past is a long story. There is no doubt about the brutality of the Ba’ath regime during the last three decades in dividing the workers and suppressing their struggles.

Independent unions were not allowed to exist and official ones were a means in the hands of the regime to implement the Ba’ath regime’s anti-workers policies. But what is happening now under the new rule of both America and its installed puppet regime, the so called interim government, is not any better than what happened under the previous regime.

Certainly neither the USA nor its puppets want to see independent workers unions and organizations. But the workers in Iraq from the first days of the collapse of the Saddam’s regime and the occupation of Iraq have started organizing themselves in unions and workers councils. We have been trying to organize the working class up and down the country, clear of the Ba’athist members and so called leaders, with a new vision for equality and freedom in Iraq. Amongst the new wave of workers organizations are the Union of Unemployed, Federation of Workers Councils and a number of recent unions in Iraq that were established in and around May 2003 to defend the rights of unemployed workers and unionize the workers to defend their rights. These workers’ organization are certainly formed by the workers themselves and act as a tool in the hands of workers to achieve their goals and not merely a tool in the hands of the capitalist regimes to impose their laws on workers.

Our unions have had tremendous progress since their foundation. They have courageously stood against occupation and holding the occupying forces to account for the starvation, poverty and the widespread unemployment in Iraq.

It was in August 2003 when the Union of Unemployed in Iraq (UUI) decided to stage a 45 day sit-in in front of the coalition forces provisional authority’s office in Iraq to demand jobs or unemployment benefit. The US forces response was to arrest the leaders of this movement in an attempt to contain this huge force of the working class in Iraq.

So far around 14 major demonstrations have been organized by our unions in Baghdad and other cities of Iraq.

As you know the situation in Iraq is turbulent. There is the ongoing occupation of Iraq. Civilians are getting killed and terrorized by US forces as well as the armed Islamic gangs and the dramatic rise of the armed forces belonging to the political Islamic forces in Iraq who have now turned our society into a battle field.

This turmoil has lead to a situation where female workers can not go out to work without fully observing Islamic veil. Those daring to disobey them will get kidnapped by different local gangsters due to lack of security. The issue of security and lack of protection of citizens in Iraq have lead to chaos which had made the job of labour activist and organizers very difficult indeed.

The Islamists are using the occupation as an excuse to terrorize Iraqi people. They blow up cinemas, video and DVD shops, shops selling alcoholic drinks. Women using hairdressing salon will have their hair cut in public in an effort to exert fear and shame on them.

They kill women who go to work without veil and threaten to kill girls who go to university without veil. So far over 1000 female students have withdrawn from university as they do not want to be killed for not wearing veil. All these are done in the name of “resistance”. If they want to fight the occupiers why do they kill and behead Iraqi people, or foreign workers who are the victim of occupation.

Looking at all this chaos and in the absence of minimum security the activism of women in the workers movement has been made even harder. But we have shown them way that the real resistance is the resistance of workers and women for freedom, humanity, egalitarianism, and secularism not Islamism and killings and bombings of innocent civilians. We are telling people that we want an end to occupation and we are fighting for a secular and egalitarian state and not a reactionary religious state.

Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq has been organizing women to fight for equality and women’s rights and is known in the world for its non compromising stands in defense of women and exposing Islamists for their brutalities against women in Iraq.

We have been spearheading the struggles to empower women to get involved in the unions and the recent example of the Basra conference in which a female worker, Kefah, was elected with an absolute majority votes among 200 delegates to head the workers councils in Basra.

It is the task of workers and women in Iraq to end occupation of Iraq and establish a state whereby people are treated equally and not on the bases of gender, ethnic, religious or tribal backgrounds. The achievements of our unions have been great but it is still fragile as the threats of the Interim government and USA is still hanging over our heads. Our progress and even existence will be in jeopardy in the absence of a strong International solidarity. As you appreciated a great deal more needs to be done and we are looking forward to your continuous support.

Once again I would like to thank you for your support and solidarity with us and thank you all for listening.

Thanks


Houzan Mahmoud

AustinChief
02-17-2005, 05:21 PM
This is a serious concern for me as well.. women in Iraq COULD lose rights if they allow it to happen.. but the iterim constitution guarantees them 25 percent of the seats in the national assembly, so they will have enough clout to fight this battle if they so chose. I agree that they will need international support .. but in the end everyone is better off than what life was like under Saddam over the last 15 years.

KCWolfman
02-17-2005, 05:30 PM
I am sure she has no agenda.

Pic of Mahmoud with Worker's Communist Party Leader Muyad Ahmad
http://www.wpiraq.net/english/images/japan1-1204.jpg

Ultra Peanut
02-17-2005, 05:40 PM
Worker's Communist PartyEh, probably just some fair, unaffiliated bunch looking to ensure fairness in Iraq.

KCWolfman
02-17-2005, 05:41 PM
Eh, probably just some fair, unaffiliated bunch looking to ensure fairness in Iraq.
Yeah, never mind the fact that she has been quoted as stating the oil of Iraq should be used for welfare of the people administered solely by the government.

BIG_DADDY
02-17-2005, 08:57 PM
This is a serious concern for me as well.. women in Iraq COULD lose rights if they allow it to happen.. but the iterim constitution guarantees them 25 percent of the seats in the national assembly, so they will have enough clout to fight this battle if they so chose. I agree that they will need international support .. but in the end everyone is better off than what life was like under Saddam over the last 15 years.

IT's all a cruel joke dude just ask Thomas.