Saturday, May 29, 2010

Women's Rights in the Middle East

For all of those people who think that women's rights in the Middle East are abysmal (which they are in some areas) here's a news story courtesy of the BBC: "West Bank rabbi bans women from local election." Apparently a woman wanted to run for the position of community secretary, so she wrote her local rabbi to ask permission. He then wrote a letter in their local newsletter saying that women could not run for election, because that would give a woman authority, and women cannot have authority! In marriage, men have the authority.

As you can imagine, a number of Israeli women are upset by his comments. Personally, I found this slightly amusing. I'm completely for women's rights, let me state that first. But considering how many times Israel is held up as a modern state in the backwards Middle East, it's ironic when a rabbi starts acting like one of those "backward imams." Pot, meet kettle.

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