Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Women's News November 9, 2010

Women in Jordan are running for office.  Unfortunately, they rarely succeed.  Currently, a quota system is in place so that there are at least a few women in the parliament.  Some women are pressured by their family or tribe not to run for office.  And even if they do run, most do not get enough votes to win a seat in parliament.  Women have made some strides, in employment positions, but Jordan is one of those countries where women are still murdered as part of "honor killings," and in many ways, women are still dependent upon their husbands.

As many as 2 million Yemeni children don't go to school - and most of them are girls.  Yemen is a very poor country, so many children face malnutrition, and have to work as well.  Human rights organizations are worried about a possible increase in child-trafficking too.  There is also a very large urban-rural divide in Yemen.  In rural areas, only 13% of girls go to school, compared to 69% for boys.

The First Lady of Turkey wears a headscarf.  You may remember that being a point of contention when her husband was first elected.  Now she has gone on record as saying that girls should not be forced to wear headscarves at a young age; they should decide once they are old enough to understand the situation.  I am very glad to hear her say that, because that is something that has been bothering me for a while.  From what I understand about Islam, girls do not start wearing a headscarf, or covering up, until they reach puberty.  So why do some countries force 3-year-old girls to cover themselves?  If that is a tribal law that has become a national law, surely you could fight that on the basis of Islamic law?

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