I just finished reading my colleague Hadley Heath’s blog post, and was stunned by what I read. Since 2004, the Independent Women’s Forum has been advocating for the human rights of Islamic women in Middle Eastern countries like Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. Not in our wildest imagination would we have ever believed we would be having a discussion about protecting the rights of Islamic women in France. As a result of President Sarkozy’s recent actions and statements, I thought it might be prudent to provide President Sarkozy with a short reading list. It is as follows:
Advancing Women’s Rights: Two Years in Iraq
Ensuring Women’s Rights in Iraq
Iraq Women Risk All for their Rights
Saddam Wasn’t a Feminist
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (here’s a link in French!) http://www.un.org/fr/documents/udhr/).
These Are the Modern Day Trailblazers
Women’s Participation in the Democratic Processes in Iraq and Afghanistan: Achievements and Challenges
The underlying theme in all of the readings above is that all women have an inalienable right to be free. Women have been fighting oppressive Islamic governments for many years in order to enjoy basic human rights, such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of association and the freedom to just be. It is inexcusable that they must also do so in countries that should be a model for democratic values.