All too typical

Women and Iraq in Foreign Affairs:

In Iraq, unlike in many other Muslim nations, women will have a strong advantage in their fight for equality: namely, a provision in the new constitution that guarantees them 25 percent of the seats in parliament. This quota is the product of intense lobbying by women’s groups, who feared being left out of the new Iraqi politics. It also has some grounding in Iraqi history. The Baathists gave women the vote and the right to run for office in 1980; within two decades, women had come to occupy 20 percent of the seats in Iraq’s rubber-stamp parliament (compared to a 3.5 percent average in the region) and some prominent cabinet positions. After the invasion, U.S. policymakers were sympathetic to women’s concerns that they would lose their political position in an election process dominated by conservative Shiites. Washington also wanted to support Iraqi women without directly challenging religious convictions. Instituting a quota seemed a good way to do both….

At the time of the elections, some Western commentators pointed to this high level of female representation as evidence that a grand social and cultural transformation was under way in Iraq.

So, the occupying military power forces the new Iraqi government accept a parliament that is 25 percent women. Naturally, the pro-war (or pro-feminist) commentator jumps on this wildly atypical female representation as proof that the Iraqi people are willing to elect women and turn their back on conventional interpretations of Sharia, never mind the fact that they are quite clearly not willing to do so or there would be no need to use the weight of the American military to make them do it.

Classic media doublethink. Also, you have to love how we are bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq BY ESTABLISHING ELECTION QUOTAS! Nor are these the only ones. Why not just force them to elect Laura Bush dictatrix-for-life and have done with it?

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