Tuesday, April 18, 2006
SHNS: Iraqi women better off under Saddam
By BONNIE ERBE, below right - Scripps Howard News Service - 17-APR-06
A new poll of leaders of Iraqi women's-rights groups finds that women were treated better and their civil rights were more secure under deposed President Saddam Hussein than under the faltering and increasingly sectarian U.S.-installed government.
This is doubly troubling. It's troubling first, because the Bush administration used the issue of women to justify its now widely criticized invasion of Iraq in part by promising to improve the situation of women.
It's troubling secondly, because the administration has issued news releases, held public meetings and tried to gain media attention (as well as U.S. public support) for all the "good" it's supposedly doing the women of Iraq via this invasion.
The poll was released last week by the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), a U.N. news agency covering sub-Saharan Africa, eight countries in central Asia, and Iraq.
IRIN reports the survey findings as follows: "...women's basic rights under the Hussein regime were guaranteed in the constitution and more importantly respected, with women often occupying important government positions. Now, although their rights are still enshrined in the national constitution, activists complain that, in practice, they have lost almost all of their rights."
(Bonnie Erbe is a TV host and writes this column for Scripps Howard News Service. E-mail bonnieerbe(at)CompuServe.com.)
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