Wednesday, July 20, 2005

That’s Freedom?

From the New York Times:

A working draft of Iraq’s new constitution would cede a strong role to Islamic law and could sharply curb women’s rights, particularly in personal matters like divorce and family inheritance.

[…]

One of the critical passages is in Article 14 of the chapter, a sweeping measure that would require court cases dealing with matters like marriage, divorce and inheritance to be judged according to the law practiced by the family’s sect or religion.

Under that measure, Shiite women in Iraq, no matter what their age, generally could not marry without their families’ permission. Under some interpretations of Shariah, men could attain a divorce simply by stating their intention three times in their wives’ presence.

Article 14 would replace a body of Iraqi law that has for decades been considered one of the most progressive in the Middle East in protecting the rights of women, giving them the freedom to choose a husband and requiring divorce cases to be decided by a judge.

Ladies, I just wanted you to see what your sons and daughters are fighting for.