Surprising as it seems, a host of anti-choicers have demonstrated a clear tilt toward population control when it comes to Muslims. Indeed, it seems apparent that, for them, racism and Islamophobia trump unbridled procreation for Mohammed’s adherents.
Across the globe, men are making key decisions about women’s most basic human rights. Women’s, feminist, queer and LGBT groups, however, have claimed a space that cannot be denied and are standing up for our rights. One poignant example of these efforts culminates today, November 9.
Global health did not come up explicitly in the final presidential debate, which focused on U.S. foreign policy. Both candidates, however, made reference to women’s issues, primarily voicing support for women’s empowerment in the Middle East.
The U.S. war ended in December 2011, but families in numerous Iraqi cities are living with a dramatic rise in birth defects and cancer from chemical weapons that were detonated near homes, schools, and playgrounds.
An estimated 150,000 people have fled Syria for Jordan since March 2011. Temporary solutions to what may be a long-term problem include how to integrate those fleeing across the border to Jordan. In this environment, “marriages of convenience,” or even forced marriages, can thrive, essentially undetected.
Syria’s media war is being waged with gory images from the ground. But preconceived notions about subservient Middle Eastern women could lead the world to assume that there have been no women active on the ground in Syria. This is simply not true: we’re just not looking hard enough.
Diseases such as diabetes and cancer cause tens of millions of deaths each year, many of which are premature. Once the burden of rich countries, these non-communicable diseases are increasingly affecting individuals in low- and middle-income countries where they impose heavy burdens on already fragile health systems. Among the most deadly—and preventable—of these diseases is cervical cancer.
Perhaps the most interesting question in the juxtaposition of women’s rights (or gay rights, or ethnic minority rights) and democracy is not whether some people’s rights are sacrificed for popular rule (they are), but rather whether they should be as a matter of principle.
As demands for political change rock North Africa and the Middle East, nothing short of a parallel revolution must also take place: women’s rights must be promoted as human rights.
Concern for women’s rights among many conservatives extends only as far as it can be used against our enemies.