Monday, February 11, 2008

Women's Rights and Human Rights

There was a piece on CNN. com today about Iraqi women post-'liberation' that is pretty damning. Things have deteriorated dramatically for women - as they have for men - since there's been a war in Iraq. This sort of discussion always pulls at both sides of my brain - on one side, I think, duh. Peace trumps war in terms of rights no matter what sort of peace you had. The risk of losing your life every time you step outside the house has a serious chilling effect on, well, everything. On the other hand, I think that to talk about it like that - like war is bad for women's rights - brings women's rights a little too much into the anti-Iraq-war rhetoric for my taste. It's hard to argue with the idea that 'women's rights are human rights', but it seems to me that saying that this war has been bad for women's rights in particular leaves open the idea that women's rights were a triumph of the Saddam Hussein regime. The positive comparisons to Saddam's regime really get me, although I can imagine anything looks rosy compared to the present situation.

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