HRW: Iraqi security forces illegally detaining, torturing, raping women

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by co_gator89, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. co_gator89
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    co_gator89 Well-Known Member

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    Hurray democracy!!!!

    http://intellihub.com/report-thousands-of-iraqi-women-illegally-detained-tortured-raped/

  2. gatornana
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    This is an excellent read on women's right in Iraq during Saddam's reign until today. Despite Saddam's horrendous faults, his secular government was modern and progressive in regards to women's rights and freedoms. After toppling him and replacing the prior regime with a more religious, Islamic government, women's rights and freedoms have gone back to the dark ages. In the endeavor to create a new government in Iraq and get along with them, we permitted woman's rights and freedoms to be placed on the back burner. The result is what we see today. It'll take generations to restore woman's rights and freedoms in Iraq.


    http://www.globalpolitician.com/print.asp?id=5202
  3. LittleBlueLW
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    LittleBlueLW Well-Known Member

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    So why is it that these muslim men behave the way they do? Disgusting and barbaric behavior.
  4. HallGator
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    HallGator Administrator VIP Member

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    You mean things are back to status quo after all of the soldier's lives and money were spent on that place. Guess what? After we leave Afghanistan it will revert right back again too. That's the way they do things over there.
  5. HallGator
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    Because they are backassward idiots that justify it through their religion. Not all of them of course but more than enough.
  6. gatornana
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    gatornana Administrator

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    It's not really back to status quo......we lost good soldiers' lives and trillions in tax dollars while worsening the conditions for women and children in Iraq.
  7. HallGator
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    When I say status quo I am referring to the reports that Sadaam would pick a woman out of the crowd and have her taken away from her husband. He would then rape her. Same type of behavior for his sons and his soldiers. I agree with what you are saying though.
  8. gatornana
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    gatornana Administrator

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    Apologies.....I misunderstood :oops:
  9. HallGator
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    No problem. Easy to do around here.
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  10. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    I think Hall kinda explained why this statement is more than a little inaccurate. Women taken into captivity by Saddam's forces weren't exactly treated humanly either.

    I'm not excusing what's being done right now on that basis--and for what it's worth, if this is what Iraq becomes after all the effort we put in, then it's absolutely fair to question why we spent so much time and money and lives there. I do think the lesson to be learned is: if people in that part of the world prefer to live barbaric lives, we should be more than happy to let them.
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  11. gatornana
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    If we happily let them live barbaric lives, women and children will be exploited, raped and have less rights and freedoms.

    Saddam, his sons and others may have been rapists however in general, Iraq was a progressive state on women's rights. This also illustrates how women's rights and freedoms are negatively effected in times of strife or war.

    Contrast today's conditions for women in Iraq to before war in Iraq:

    From my linky posted up thread:

    Women's rights seemed once again on track when the Ba'th Party again took power in 1968. Women's equality was enshrined in the 1970 Iraqi Provisional Constitution. In January 1971, Iraq also ratified the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which provide equal protection under international law to all.

    In 1979, Saddam Hussein, who had been the power behind-the-scenes for years, fully established himself as Iraq's leader. Although Saddam Hussein was undeniably a despot who terrorized the nation and created a republic of fear for both male and female Iraqis, he also----at least initially----promoted women's rights. He wanted Iraqi women to be educated, to be part of the workforce and political landscape (such as it was under the dictatorship), and to enjoy rights in marriage and divorce; and, of course, whatever Hussein wanted, Hussein got.

    The promotion of women's rights fit in with Hussein's interest in building a secular, non- traditional Iraq. Women could be used to help the nation achieve their goal of rapid economic growth. Rather than rely upon foreign labor, Hussein decided to use women to deal with labor shortages.

    Incorporated into Hussein's rhetorical flourishes about the great nation of Iraq were flattering references to its women: "The women of our country are the descendants of the immortal Arab women who fought valiantly side-by-side with their men folk, wrote the poetry of chivalry and glory, and participated in the great Arab heritage of civilization."[5]

    Hussein, however did more than talk about women's rights. Iraqi women were among the greatest beneficiaries of his widespread literacy programs for all Iraqis. That included mandatory education for children between the ages of six and ten and literacy classes for all Iraqis between the ages of 15 and 45, of which women were a disproportionate number. By the 1990s, the female illiteracy rate in Iraq was among the lowest in the region. Female high-school graduates were encouraged to attend one of the many newly opened colleges and universities, after which they were guaranteed jobs.

    Women were further lured to the workplace by promises of equal opportunity, generous maternity benefits, subsidized day care, free transportation, and in some cases, even free housing. That most of the jobs for women were in the civil service made them respectable even for traditional families. By the late 1970s, it was estimated that women made up about 60 percent of the Iraqi civil service.

    In 1980, women were part of the nation's oil industry, comprising 37 percent of government oil-project designers and 30 percent of construction supervisors. By 1982, women were 46 percent of teachers, 29 percent of doctors, 46 percent of dentists, 70 percent of pharmacists, 15 percent of accountants, 14 percent of factory workers, and 4 percent of the senior management positions in Iraq.

    In 1980, Iraqi women were granted suffrage and the right to run for office. That parliamentary election year, women won 16 out of 250 seats on the National Council. Five years later, women won 33 council seats, representing 13 percent of the total body. However, it should be emphasized that these were strictly party-controlled elections in which only the Ba'th Party ran candidates. By 1984, 13.2 percent of the National Assembly was female.

    Women were also given increased benefits in a new personal status law. Compulsory marriage became a punishable crime. A woman could get a divorce if her husband did not fulfill any of the conditions from their marriage contract. Divorced mothers could now get custody of their children until the age of ten (it had previously been seven for boys and nine for girls), and, with court approval, custody could even be extended to the child's fifteenth birthday. The child could then choose with which parent to live.

    "Unjustified divorce ought to be condemned everywhere. Polygamy ought to be condemned in every corner of our society," said Saddam Hussein.[6]

    Yet, as with so many other things, Hussein was untroubled by an obvious hypocrisy; he himself had two wives. There is also evidence that not all of the personal status law's provisions were enforced.

    In 1986, Iraq became one of the first countries to ratify the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Yet like many Muslim countries, when it accepted this document Iraq cited reservations on the basis of Islamic law that diluted some of the legislation's effect. For example, while CEDAW guarantees a woman the right to pass on her own nationality, Iraqi law gives that right only to the father.

    Moreover, the general repression of political activity prevented women from freely organizing. Hussein closed the Iraqi Women's League and made the Ba'thist General Federation of Iraqi Women the only women's organization allowed to function. By 1997, some 47 percent of all women in Iraq reportedly belonged to this organization, although other sources put the figure as lower.

    By 1998, the Federation had 21 branches and ran some 250 rural and urban community centers offering job training, education, and other social programs for women. It also helped promote women in public office and initiated the changes in the personal status law. One of its most important functions was educating women about their legal rights through a radio and television campaign, and it even focused on abolishing gender stereotypes in education. A U.S. reporter who visited Iraq in 1999 was told by a federation member that after they discovered that the cover of a children's textbook showed a boy holding a pen and notebook and a girl carrying a doll, they contacted the publisher and asked that the cover be changed. Presumably, it was. The reporter was also told of how federation members run workshops for elementary school teachers to train them how to teach housekeeping and cooking classes to both boys and girls and run sports events for girls, many of which were televised. Broadcasting images of female athletes wearing shorts and swimsuits is considered nothing short of scandalous in many other parts of the Arab world.[7]

    Iraq's eight-year war with Iran initially provided another boost to women's rights before creating a major backlash against them. After the war started in 1980, women were needed to join the labor force in even greater numbers as men were going off to the battlefield. In a program known as the "National Campaign to Increase Women's Participation in the Economic Development Process," women were trained to work as gas station attendants, bus conductors, and even in the army as doctors and engineers.

    However, the toll the war took on Iraq was the beginning of changed circumstances for Iraqi women. In the last years of the war, women were fired from these jobs as their places were needed for returning soldiers. Women were encouraged to focus on becoming mothers who should produce at least five children as the nation needed a population boost to take on the much more populous Iran.

    Yet the Iran-Iraq War was only the start of Iraq's problems. In 1991, Saddam Hussein recklessly invaded Kuwait, only retreating after he was defeated by an international coalition. Following the war, the United Nations imposed trade sanctions against Iraq, leading to an economic crisis in the country. Women were among the primary victims.

    For example, indigent families kept girls at home rather than send them to school. As unemployment rose further, women were the first to lose their jobs. In 1998, the government fired all female secretaries in governmental agencies.
  12. HallGator
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    Totally agree. We can invade country after country and depose dictator after dictator but in the end we cannot force those people to change their way of thinking. They are the one who are going to have to do that. When the majority (or enough to really make a difference) get enough of living like barbarians then, and only then, will they have a chance to join the civilized world. I hold out hope that this may occur in Iran one day.
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  13. gatornana
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    I understand this but think about who these barbarians are going all barbaric on......innocent women and children.
  14. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    ...you forgot innocent men too. Or do you think that their barbarism is limited only to women and children?
  15. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    Women in the Middle East or Islamic cultures have a pretty bad lot; regardless of how conservative or progressive their societies are. That much is indisputable. What is your alternative? Going in, forcing a government upon them--spending lives and money to force that change? Here, I thought that was the opposite of what you've been advocating these last several years.

    As your article noted, women's freedoms in Iraq have been sliding since the 1980s when Saddam invaded Iran. Which also happened to coincide with Saddam and Iraq starting to take more of a conservative and fundamentalist turn (most people think he did this to maintain his grip on power since it played well with the people).

    Iraq was progressive on women's rights in the 60s and 70s...but that definitely changed.
  16. gatornana
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    I didn't forget men however the people most effected by a fundamentalist regime are women and children. By virtue of their religious dogma, they have the power, rights and freedoms over women and children.
  17. gatornana
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    That's not a fair statement. We didn't invade Iraq to enhance the lives and status of women. The point here is that the opposite occurred and we allowed it.

    I was against this war for many reasons that are off topic here.......in regards to women and children, as my linky illustrated, women and children suffer the greatest. Our invasion gave way to a fundamentalist state where women and children will suffer for generations.
  18. g8orbill
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    while I am on record as saying our going into Iraq was a 20-20 hindsight mistake-I am not sure we can be blamed for the mess that is occurring over there today
  19. CDG8tor
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    I wish Pelosi and Reid had voted to not attack Iraq.

    Dang it
  20. HallGator
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    Me too. Along with the rest of them.

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