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Women's Rights in the Middle East

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Sadia Ahmad

on 9 April 2014

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Transcript of Women's Rights in the Middle East

Women's Rights in the Middle East
Why Should I Care
After all these cold fact you all must be wondering, why should I care? What have I got to lose in this issue?

Well the truth lies in the concept of humanity. We are all humans and we cherish the same joy and are anguished by the same pain. We have to lend a hand out to these women, and show them that they are not alone, so that if one day we are stuck in the same situation, someone else will be the light in the darkness for us.

And remember, you cannot remain neutral in this. Because in this injustice, if you chose to remain silent, you have ultimately chosen the side of the oppressors!
How can I help?
Raise Awareness!!!

Call on First Lady Asma al-Assad, to urge the Syrian authorities to guarantee and uphold the right of women human rights defenders to peaceful protest, and to ensure these women are able to carry out their work without political interference or hindrance.

Send a solidarity photo message to women activists in Saudi Arabia in support of their campaign to drive.

Urge Yemen's transitional authorities to work with women to end discrimination in law and practice.
Any Other Organizations
1. Amnesty International
A nonprofit agency that applies political pressure and various peaceful campaign tactics against countries throughout the world (including the United States.) Amnesty International focuses on a wide array of human rights, including abolishing the death penalty, human trafficking, false arrests and imprisonment, etc.

2. Change.org on Women's Rights
Start a petition on Change.org, or sign an existing one to help foster social awareness about specific human, social, and animal rights issues.

3. Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women
In 2007, the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW Campaign), was launched to end the relentless misuse of religion and culture to justify the killing, maiming and torture of women as punishment for violating the imposed ‘norms’ of sexual behaviour.

4. Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI)
The Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI) is committed to promoting a greater awareness of the challenges women face living under fundamentalist regimes such as that of Iran.

5. Women Living Under Muslim Law
Women Living Under Muslim Laws is an international solidarity network that provides information, support and a collective space for women whose lives are shaped, conditioned or governed by laws and customs said to derive from Islam.
Take a look this video and see for yourself the conditions of women in Syria
Current Status
Since May of 2011, women in Saudi Arabia have been trying to gain their right to drive, but the protestors were arrested, such as Manal Al-Sharif, and their cause has been in vain.

In Syria over 300 women have been abused since the start of the conflict in 2011. Women are targeted not only for political issues and also because they are vulnerable victims.

In Egypt, 1 in three women have been sexually abused. 71% of the women have been abused by their husbands and 18% also experienced emotional abuse.

Arab women suffer from inequality with men and are vulnerable to discrimination both in law and in practice.

Although the roots of the problems are religious conservatives and extremists, the government also doesn’t do anything to protect the rights of women. In the countries where there is political turmoil, the government officials or parties are directly involved with the harassment of women.

Gender specific roles had existed traditionally, such as domestic duties for women and financial duties for men. Although the religion gives equality before law, education, family affairs and other aspects, the conservatives of the religion today ignore them for their own benefits. Afraid of losing their power and status as in the traditional view, many officials chose to ignore giving their women the rights they deserve. Women are also abused in the countries of Egypt, Syria and Lebanon due to the political revolutions as a mean of humiliation and threats to their opposite parties.

How is this an injustice?

Every aspect of this situation is an example of a social injustice. This injustice violates about 20 0f the 30 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
Article 16. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
Article 23. (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
Article 26. (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
Article 27. (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

Women are not considered equal before law (6) nor are they granted justice from the law(7). Women are not allowed to travel alone (13) nor have the right to reject marriage if they do not approve (16). They are not allowed to be educated (26), work (23) or participate in the government (27) without permission from male.

In countries like Syria and Egypt and even Lebanon, women are constantly being abused and tortured due to the civil war (5 and 9).

Sadia Ahmad
Justin Lewis
Kayla Johnson
Melissa Vega
Full transcript