Although I am quota-phobic, I am  willing to admit that in Iraq, where women won a major victory by going to the polls in record numbers (see IWF homepage), quotas for women in government are a good idea.

In the Arab world, many women face real oppression, which is quite different from the imaginary oppression the radical feminist in the U.S. sees all around her. Christianity Today, a source we don’t often cite on Inkwell, has a gripping first-person story of what Arab women are up against–it’s quite different from, say, being oppressed by having Harvard President Lawrence Summers timidly raise the question of how science and math talents are distributed. The story is about a Jordanian woman, but it’s really about the status of all women in the Arab world:

“In Arab culture, when a woman disgraces her family–or is even rumored to have done so–she deserves to die. I knew if I left the airport and ran away, my family would come after me to kill me for disgracing them. But the longer I thought about how miserable I’d be married to a man I didn’t love or respect, the more angry I became. I’ve fasted for you; I’ve prayed five times a day to you; I’ve even studied the Qur’an for you, I inwardly screamed at Allah. And this is what you allow to happen?! Right then, on February 10, 1990, I stopped praying and worshiping Allah.

“I grabbed my luggage and escaped to the nearest hotel to hide. I didn’t have much money and desperately tried to think of what to do next. I didn’t have many American friends because my father wouldn’t allow me to be influenced by their ’Satanic ways.’…”

Read the whole article and ponder what it means that courageous Iraqi women got out and voted Sunday. (Thanks to Relapsed Catholic for spotting the article.)