July 20 2009
'Courageous' Iranian women applauded
Despite diminishing reports of protests surrounding the recent Iranian election, a senior fellow with the Independent Women's Forum says the protests continue and many women have emerged as leaders in the demonstrations.
Julie Gunlock of the Independent Women's Forum believes that women who are protesting the Iranian election results are displaying an astounding act of courage. She says in Iran women are subject to routine gender segregation as well as arbitrary checks from the morality police, and can even be put to death for minor crimes.
"So for them to go into the streets and protest alongside men is really, as I said, an act of courage," she shares. "But women in that country have actually been quite organized over the years -- organizing for greater rights. So they sort of had this network in place before the elections."
During his recent speech in Cairo, President Barack Obama tried to compare the struggle for women's rights in the U.S. to those in Muslim countries. But Gunlock says the struggles that women face in those countries do not even compare to the issues women face in the U.S.
For example, Gunlock says that while American women may face issues pertaining to breaking through the "glass ceiling" in the business world, women in Afghanistan are struggling to gain the right to be educated, among many other basic rights.