Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Arab women stand up

Barry Artiste Op/Ed


Well Ladies, good luck with that, as sometimes women can be their own worst enemy. One side is against Sharia, while another group sees nothing wrong with it. Since Sharia is traditionally governed by men, one doesn't need to wonder why women in these countries allow it, but do! Boggles the mind in this day and age countries still treat women like breeding stock, and some women actually allow it. Hence why women can be their own worst enemy.






Arab women stand upThe Ottawa CitizenMarch 9, 2009Comments (1) showTab("text/html"); function resizeImage() { var imgBox = document.getElementById('imageBox'); var photo = document.getElementById('storyphoto'); if (imgBox != null && photo != null) { if(photo.width >= 460) { imgBox.className = 'imagesize460'; } else { if(photo.width >= 300) { imgBox.className = 'imagesize310'; } else { imgBox.className = 'imageboxpadding'; } imgBox.style.width = photo.width + 'px'; } } } function getStoryFontSize() { var storyfontsize = getCookie('storyfontsize'); var storyfontimage = getCookie('storyfontimage'); // use cookied value, if present if (storyfontsize != null) { setClass('story_content',storyfontsize); if (storyfontimage != null) { setClass('fontsizecontainer',storyfontimage); } } else // default it to para14 if no cookie { setClass('story_content','para14'); setClass('fontsizecontainer','size02'); } } function setStoryFontSize(storyfontsize,storyfontimage) { setClass('story_content',storyfontsize); setClass('fontsizecontainer',storyfontimage); setCookie('storyfontsize', storyfontsize, '365', '/', '', ''); setCookie('storyfontimage', storyfontimage, '365', '/', '', ''); } function setCookie( name, value, expires, path, domain, secure ) { // set time var today = new Date(); today.setTime( today.getTime() ); if ( expires ) { expires = expires * 1000 * 60 * 60 * 24; //days } var expires_date = new Date( today.getTime() + (expires) ); document.cookie = name + "=" + escape( value ) + ( ( expires ) ? ";expires=" + expires_date.toGMTString() : "" ) + ( ( path ) ? ";path=" + path : "" ) + ( ( domain ) ? ";domain=" + domain : "" ) + ( ( secure ) ? ";secure" : "" ); } function getCookie( check_name ) { // split this cookie up into name/value pairs var a_all_cookies = document.cookie.split( ';' ); var a_temp_cookie = ''; var cookie_name = ''; var cookie_value = ''; var b_cookie_found = false; // set boolean t/f default f for ( i = 0; i < a_all_cookies.length; i++ ) { // split apart each name=value pair a_temp_cookie = a_all_cookies[i].split( '=' ); // and trim left/right whitespace while we're at it cookie_name = a_temp_cookie[0].replace(/^\s+|\s+$/g, ''); // if the extracted name matches passed check_name if ( cookie_name == check_name ) { b_cookie_found = true; // we need to handle case where cookie has no value but exists (no = sign, that is): if ( a_temp_cookie.length > 1 ) { cookie_value = unescape( a_temp_cookie[1].replace(/^\s+|\s+$/g, '') ); } // note that in cases where cookie is initialized but no value, null is returned return cookie_value; break; } a_temp_cookie = null; cookie_name = ''; } if ( !b_cookie_found ) { return null; } }

The women of the Arab world are fighting for their right to be treated as full citizens in their own countries. It's not an easy fight, but it is winnable. There have been reforms in Morocco, Egypt and Algeria, and it looks like change is on the horizon in Lebanon.


Democratic reform in the region is in the interest of the whole world, but it is the women who feel its absence most keenly. Indeed, as Canada's own experience shows, change is most likely to happen when women demand it for themselves.


It wasn't long ago that aboriginal women in Canada fought the discriminatory policies in the old Indian Act, and won. Before 1985, an Indian woman who married a non-Indian man lost her status, and so did her children. Indian men, though, could keep their status no matter whom they married, and could even confer their status to their non-aboriginal wives. It was the bureaucratization of the idea that when a woman marries, her identity -- almost her very DNA -- is subsumed in that of her husband's.







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