Those Poor Muslim Women

June 18, 2013
By
Photo Credit: Muslim Women Against Femen

Photo Credit: Muslim Women Against Femen

By Josh Shahryar

For the past several months, I’ve been bombarded by questions about what I think of Femen’s work in Tunisia. This happened after Amina, one of their local members, posted nude images of herself in protest against patriarchy, causing an uproar there in March. As an Afghan man who comes from a somewhat religious family, my opinion was sought by quite a few curious folks who equate Islam with race and/or nationality. Femen, a Ukrainian women’s rights organization, regularly challenges patriarchy with public topless protests.

The pressure was so intense that I did write something about Femen in March, but it was short. I was told to explain myself. As one friend put it, “You say you have a problem with this, but you dodged the issue.”

So I’ll come clean.

I don’t hate Femen. I have no problems with people bearing their chest in protest. It’s their human right. What I do have a problem with is how Femen’s work in Tunisia is being used to define Tunisian women. Local women’s rights activists and organizations are ignored because this fits the Western media narrative that Muslim women are oppressed, but cannot help themselves. The image of those “poor Muslim women,” gets forcefully embedded in your mind whether you want it or not – this time through Femen.

Femen hasn’t done anything in Tunisia before the Amina protest. But since then, that’s all you hear about here in the West when it comes to women’s rights in Tunisia. Her case and its aftermath is used to not just define Tunisia and Tunisian women, but the plight of Muslim women in general, without any context, earning Femen kudos for “raising awareness”.

Specifically, what did raising awareness do for Amina?

Consider the Tunisian Democratic Women Association (ATFD). I bet you haven’t heard of them even though they provided one of Amina’s lawyers after her persecution, Bochra Belhadj Hamida. Ahlem Belhadj, another ATFD member, is her psychiatrist. The media, though, won’t cover them because writing about them will then require that you write about ATFD, even though they’ve worked for human rights in Tunisia since 1989 – most of that time under a brutal dictatorship opposed to their work.

Do a simple google search on “Tunisia and ATFD” and another on “Femen and Tunisia”. Now glare at the result of this hypocrisy where you can barely find any mention in the mainstream media of ATFD’s work while Femen is plastered all over the place.

The “poor Muslim women” narrative will then require more context, more nuance and *drum roll please* Muslim women who are trying to emancipate themselves without the help of Femen and other White saviors.

Photo Credit: Muslim Women Against Femen

Photo Credit: Muslim Women Against Femen

In April, the group Muslim Women Against Femen launched a Facebook page to address some of these issues. Their critique is evident in their unapologetic mission statement:

“This page is for Muslim women who want to expose FEMEN for the Islamophobes/Imperialists that they are. We have had enough of Western feminists imposing their values on us. We are taking a stand to make our voices heard and reclaim our agency. Muslim women have had enough of this paternalistic and parasitic relationship with SOME Western feminists.” 

This attitude toward Muslim women is not restricted to Tunisia.

Earlier this year, some Pashtun feminist friends from Afghanistan and Pakistan, all women and all Muslim, decided to start an opinion website. The project, Pashtun Women Viewpoint, for the first time offers a glimpse into the lives of Pashtun women, their struggle for rights and the work that they’re doing towards their eventual emancipation. And they’ve had scarcely a peep written about them by a media that’s ready to churn out story after story after story about the “poor Muslim women” of Afghanistan and Pakistan, who, as you will be told, lack a voice and need angelic beings – Americans and Brits and what not – to help them get their voice out.

I wish that’s where it stopped, but it doesn’t. Not only is the coverage of Muslim women’s struggle stifled in favor of the established narrative, some media organizations are now even trying to make sure the women they cover conform to the “poor Muslim woman” image that has been created – i.e. she wears that “garment of imprisonment” also known as the hijab.

Photo Credit: RaheelRaza.com

Photo Credit: RaheelRaza.com

The case of Raheel Raza, a renowned Muslim-Canadian journalist, feminist and reformist, in her own words, reveals this new tactic:

“A few days ago I received a call from a producer at BBC World Service asking if I knew of a Muslim woman who would comment on a news story about the bikini being banned at the Miss World pageant in Indonesia. I promptly responded that I would and the producer asked me some questions which I answered (I think) quite intelligently; she said she was very impressed.

Then she asked, ‘Are you a Muslim? Your website photo doesn’t really show that you are.’”

You guessed it, Raza doesn’t wear a hijab. She goes on to add in her piece:

Was I surprised? No. This has happened before and as Islamism grows faster than grass in the West, so do the rules about what a Muslim should look like.” 

Building a false narrative in the coverage of women’s rights is nothing new. Western media, especially American media, has had a race problem for centuries when it comes to covering issues related to women of color and it’s not restricted to Muslim women.

That’s why delving deeper into women’s rights in many Muslim countries is such a rarity.

It would require more hard work from journalists and opinion writers. Things like reading about the history of women’s rights in each country. Talking to activists on the ground. Understanding that the hijab or “head-cover” is worn by many Muslim women out of choice and to those women who cannot choose to not wear it, it may not be the biggest hurdle facing them. That they, too, face problems with employment, education, access to health care, political participation and that all those issues may be bigger to them than the mere religious garments worn for piety — that they, too, would like to ‘have it all’.

But no. “Those poor Muslim women,” is a lot easier to explain by the media than, “Muslim women are just as sophisticated and their needs just as diverse as women anywhere.”

Until that doesn’t change, I will continue to have a problem and so will other Muslim women and men. And so should you. Because while Muslim women deserve to be represented accurately, you deserve better journalism.

_____________________________________________________________

Josh Shahryar

Josh Shahryar

 

Josh Shahryar is a reporter, covering human rights in South Asia and the larger Middle East. His work has appeared in The GuardianAl JazeeraThe Daily Beast and PBS Frontline’s Tehran Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter: @jshahryar.

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64 Responses to Those Poor Muslim Women

  1. Matthew Abely on June 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you for writing this. It was something I think I needed to hear. I recently graduated college with an environmental studies degree. I spent the second half of that fighting to integrate intersectionality into my courses and networks of allies. I am still fighting for it now (that I work as a membership seller/canvasser for Greenpeace). Any advice and or recommendations of people and places to contact? Thank you for the opportunities and your time.

  2. Matthew Abely on June 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you for writing this. It was something I think I needed to hear. I recently graduated college with an environmental studies degree. I spent the second half of that fighting to integrate intersectionality into my courses and networks of allies. I am still fighting for it now (that I work as a membership seller/canvasser for Greenpeace). Any advice and or recommendations of people and places to contact? Thank you for the opportunities and your time.

  3. Matthew Abely on June 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you for writing this. It was something I think I needed to hear. I recently graduated college with an environmental studies degree. I spent the second half of that fighting to integrate intersectionality into my courses and networks of allies. I am still fighting for it now (that I work as a membership seller/canvasser for Greenpeace). Any advice and or recommendations of people and places to contact? Thank you for the opportunities and your time.

  4. Matthew Abely on June 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you for writing this. It was something I think I needed to hear. I recently graduated college with an environmental studies degree. I spent the second half of that fighting to integrate intersectionality into my courses and networks of allies. I am still fighting for it now (that I work as a membership seller/canvasser for Greenpeace). Any advice and or recommendations of people and places to contact? Thank you for the opportunities and your time.

  5. Nadia on June 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    you summed up my sentiments exactly. it would be nice if the western (white) world could see beyond the need save to “those people”. but they can’t and i feel this may (as you pointed out) have to do with the hundreds years of unaddressed systematic and institutionalized racism and xenophobia. thanks for articulating what is really wrong with Femen and organizations that use such a bias narrative

  6. Nadia on June 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    you summed up my sentiments exactly. it would be nice if the western (white) world could see beyond the need save to “those people”. but they can’t and i feel this may (as you pointed out) have to do with the hundreds years of unaddressed systematic and institutionalized racism and xenophobia. thanks for articulating what is really wrong with Femen and organizations that use such a bias narrative

  7. Nadia on June 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    you summed up my sentiments exactly. it would be nice if the western (white) world could see beyond the need save to “those people”. but they can’t and i feel this may (as you pointed out) have to do with the hundreds years of unaddressed systematic and institutionalized racism and xenophobia. thanks for articulating what is really wrong with Femen and organizations that use such a bias narrative

  8. Nadia on June 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    you summed up my sentiments exactly. it would be nice if the western (white) world could see beyond the need save to “those people”. but they can’t and i feel this may (as you pointed out) have to do with the hundreds years of unaddressed systematic and institutionalized racism and xenophobia. thanks for articulating what is really wrong with Femen and organizations that use such a bias narrative

  9. A.C. on June 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Femen style of demonstration notwithstanding, it is just as prejudiced to judge their intentions and that of other more radical feminists.

    To many Muslim women, in the US and abroad, feminism or Western culture is not first-hand nature. Nor was it so for Anglo women at first, or those of other nationalities and religions.

    The issue is the right to choose and how a fundamentally religious may not be overly acquainted with it, and, as importantly, how that effects other women.

    Women of fundamentalist religions and from male dominated countries are not raised with a wide variety of choices unless they are among the wealthy.

    Through tradition and environment, they aren’t overly familiar with other ways of living. They may grow to think that this is fine for them, but in doing so they are making decisions for others, as well, which can be oppressive or regressive in terms of hard won battles by women.

    In any fundamentalist or conservative culture, women’s rights suffer because they are either unfamiliar with autonomy or have been conditioned against it. What other statements are they to make that aren’t rooted in patriarchy?

    To them, behaving is synonymous with being a good Muslim woman, woman of any Eastern country or community. Men in those societies don’t have the same conflicts in thinking, nor are they unsafe in having them.

    In many cultures, women wear head covers, be it Orthodox Judaism to conservative Orthodox Christians. The point is, are they being forced to do so now, or over time? Have they been conditioned to think this is what good women do and are defensive or made to defend it?

    No one likes to feel as though they are viewed as being subjugated, as it makes them look weak. This is true of all sorts of women. The bottom line is being able to be honest about a *free* choice, not one that was handed down or mandated by a fundamental environment or religion.

    To be shamed, intimidated or forced to do otherwise is not choice, and abets keeping *all* women down. Additionally, the same can be said of the sexist Western commercialized culture which applies unreasonable pressure on women and skews norms to create an unrealistic ideal of what a woman should be. See, it happens nearly everywhere.

    • Truth on June 19, 2013 at 10:13 am

      I don’t think it’s judgement to stand up for a version of feminism that doesn’t correspond exactly with the ideals of Western feminism. I think these conversations about intersectional feminism are necessary to it’s growth. As an African American woman, I have a different perspective about traditional feminism; similarly someone from another does, as well. The argument about choice is fundamental to all women’s rights. I don’t think the paradigm of Western feminism is always going to be a great fit for some Muslim women. There isn’t any one way to be a feminist. I thin the author is concerned that other feminist voices are being drowned out by Western ones; presenting a false perception of the Tunisian feminist movement. No doubt, there are probably women there who aren’t sure how to proceed due to their internal cultural conflicts about what a woman’s role in Muslim society and the world should be, but to assume that is the case for every woman living in fundamentalist country is arrogant and elitist. Negating a woman’s agency, knowledge of self and her environment is the most unfeminist thing a person can do. It is, in fact, a patriarchal attitude. Is it so hard to believe that a woman chooses to wear a hijab because she wants to? I look forward to learning more about the various schools of thought as it pertains to Islamic feminism. Keep it up FW.

      • A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

        But what you call “arrogant and elitest” is seen by other Arab and Muslim women as kindness and concern.

        Women are frequently sexually assaulted and stoned to death in fundamentalist Muslim areas.

        That’s not to say the majority of Muslims behave that way, but it would be logical to assume that Muslim women may have some inner conflicts, or even praise for abject paternalism for self-preservation.

        Bottom line, if it’s truly a woman’s choice to be part of a fundamentally religious community, fine. But if her choice or attitude keeps another woman from her freedom than she is no better than the men who do the oppressing.

  10. A.C. on June 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Femen style of demonstration notwithstanding, it is just as prejudiced to judge their intentions and that of other more radical feminists.

    To many Muslim women, in the US and abroad, feminism or Western culture is not first-hand nature. Nor was it so for Anglo women at first, or those of other nationalities and religions.

    The issue is the right to choose and how a fundamentally religious may not be overly acquainted with it, and, as importantly, how that effects other women.

    Women of fundamentalist religions and from male dominated countries are not raised with a wide variety of choices unless they are among the wealthy.

    Through tradition and environment, they aren’t overly familiar with other ways of living. They may grow to think that this is fine for them, but in doing so they are making decisions for others, as well, which can be oppressive or regressive in terms of hard won battles by women.

    In any fundamentalist or conservative culture, women’s rights suffer because they are either unfamiliar with autonomy or have been conditioned against it. What other statements are they to make that aren’t rooted in patriarchy?

    To them, behaving is synonymous with being a good Muslim woman, woman of any Eastern country or community. Men in those societies don’t have the same conflicts in thinking, nor are they unsafe in having them.

    In many cultures, women wear head covers, be it Orthodox Judaism to conservative Orthodox Christians. The point is, are they being forced to do so now, or over time? Have they been conditioned to think this is what good women do and are defensive or made to defend it?

    No one likes to feel as though they are viewed as being subjugated, as it makes them look weak. This is true of all sorts of women. The bottom line is being able to be honest about a *free* choice, not one that was handed down or mandated by a fundamental environment or religion.

    To be shamed, intimidated or forced to do otherwise is not choice, and abets keeping *all* women down. Additionally, the same can be said of the sexist Western commercialized culture which applies unreasonable pressure on women and skews norms to create an unrealistic ideal of what a woman should be. See, it happens nearly everywhere.

    • Truth on June 19, 2013 at 10:13 am

      I don’t think it’s judgement to stand up for a version of feminism that doesn’t correspond exactly with the ideals of Western feminism. I think these conversations about intersectional feminism are necessary to it’s growth. As an African American woman, I have a different perspective about traditional feminism; similarly someone from another does, as well. The argument about choice is fundamental to all women’s rights. I don’t think the paradigm of Western feminism is always going to be a great fit for some Muslim women. There isn’t any one way to be a feminist. I thin the author is concerned that other feminist voices are being drowned out by Western ones; presenting a false perception of the Tunisian feminist movement. No doubt, there are probably women there who aren’t sure how to proceed due to their internal cultural conflicts about what a woman’s role in Muslim society and the world should be, but to assume that is the case for every woman living in fundamentalist country is arrogant and elitist. Negating a woman’s agency, knowledge of self and her environment is the most unfeminist thing a person can do. It is, in fact, a patriarchal attitude. Is it so hard to believe that a woman chooses to wear a hijab because she wants to? I look forward to learning more about the various schools of thought as it pertains to Islamic feminism. Keep it up FW.

      • A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

        But what you call “arrogant and elitest” is seen by other Arab and Muslim women as kindness and concern.

        Women are frequently sexually assaulted and stoned to death in fundamentalist Muslim areas.

        That’s not to say the majority of Muslims behave that way, but it would be logical to assume that Muslim women may have some inner conflicts, or even praise for abject paternalism for self-preservation.

        Bottom line, if it’s truly a woman’s choice to be part of a fundamentally religious community, fine. But if her choice or attitude keeps another woman from her freedom than she is no better than the men who do the oppressing.

  11. A.C. on June 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Femen style of demonstration notwithstanding, it is just as prejudiced to judge their intentions and that of other more radical feminists.

    To many Muslim women, in the US and abroad, feminism or Western culture is not first-hand nature. Nor was it so for Anglo women at first, or those of other nationalities and religions.

    The issue is the right to choose and how a fundamentally religious may not be overly acquainted with it, and, as importantly, how that effects other women.

    Women of fundamentalist religions and from male dominated countries are not raised with a wide variety of choices unless they are among the wealthy.

    Through tradition and environment, they aren’t overly familiar with other ways of living. They may grow to think that this is fine for them, but in doing so they are making decisions for others, as well, which can be oppressive or regressive in terms of hard won battles by women.

    In any fundamentalist or conservative culture, women’s rights suffer because they are either unfamiliar with autonomy or have been conditioned against it. What other statements are they to make that aren’t rooted in patriarchy?

    To them, behaving is synonymous with being a good Muslim woman, woman of any Eastern country or community. Men in those societies don’t have the same conflicts in thinking, nor are they unsafe in having them.

    In many cultures, women wear head covers, be it Orthodox Judaism to conservative Orthodox Christians. The point is, are they being forced to do so now, or over time? Have they been conditioned to think this is what good women do and are defensive or made to defend it?

    No one likes to feel as though they are viewed as being subjugated, as it makes them look weak. This is true of all sorts of women. The bottom line is being able to be honest about a *free* choice, not one that was handed down or mandated by a fundamental environment or religion.

    To be shamed, intimidated or forced to do otherwise is not choice, and abets keeping *all* women down. Additionally, the same can be said of the sexist Western commercialized culture which applies unreasonable pressure on women and skews norms to create an unrealistic ideal of what a woman should be. See, it happens nearly everywhere.

    • Truth on June 19, 2013 at 10:13 am

      I don’t think it’s judgement to stand up for a version of feminism that doesn’t correspond exactly with the ideals of Western feminism. I think these conversations about intersectional feminism are necessary to it’s growth. As an African American woman, I have a different perspective about traditional feminism; similarly someone from another does, as well. The argument about choice is fundamental to all women’s rights. I don’t think the paradigm of Western feminism is always going to be a great fit for some Muslim women. There isn’t any one way to be a feminist. I thin the author is concerned that other feminist voices are being drowned out by Western ones; presenting a false perception of the Tunisian feminist movement. No doubt, there are probably women there who aren’t sure how to proceed due to their internal cultural conflicts about what a woman’s role in Muslim society and the world should be, but to assume that is the case for every woman living in fundamentalist country is arrogant and elitist. Negating a woman’s agency, knowledge of self and her environment is the most unfeminist thing a person can do. It is, in fact, a patriarchal attitude. Is it so hard to believe that a woman chooses to wear a hijab because she wants to? I look forward to learning more about the various schools of thought as it pertains to Islamic feminism. Keep it up FW.

      • A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

        But what you call “arrogant and elitest” is seen by other Arab and Muslim women as kindness and concern.

        Women are frequently sexually assaulted and stoned to death in fundamentalist Muslim areas.

        That’s not to say the majority of Muslims behave that way, but it would be logical to assume that Muslim women may have some inner conflicts, or even praise for abject paternalism for self-preservation.

        Bottom line, if it’s truly a woman’s choice to be part of a fundamentally religious community, fine. But if her choice or attitude keeps another woman from her freedom than she is no better than the men who do the oppressing.

  12. A.C. on June 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Femen style of demonstration notwithstanding, it is just as prejudiced to judge their intentions and that of other more radical feminists.

    To many Muslim women, in the US and abroad, feminism or Western culture is not first-hand nature. Nor was it so for Anglo women at first, or those of other nationalities and religions.

    The issue is the right to choose and how a fundamentally religious may not be overly acquainted with it, and, as importantly, how that effects other women.

    Women of fundamentalist religions and from male dominated countries are not raised with a wide variety of choices unless they are among the wealthy.

    Through tradition and environment, they aren’t overly familiar with other ways of living. They may grow to think that this is fine for them, but in doing so they are making decisions for others, as well, which can be oppressive or regressive in terms of hard won battles by women.

    In any fundamentalist or conservative culture, women’s rights suffer because they are either unfamiliar with autonomy or have been conditioned against it. What other statements are they to make that aren’t rooted in patriarchy?

    To them, behaving is synonymous with being a good Muslim woman, woman of any Eastern country or community. Men in those societies don’t have the same conflicts in thinking, nor are they unsafe in having them.

    In many cultures, women wear head covers, be it Orthodox Judaism to conservative Orthodox Christians. The point is, are they being forced to do so now, or over time? Have they been conditioned to think this is what good women do and are defensive or made to defend it?

    No one likes to feel as though they are viewed as being subjugated, as it makes them look weak. This is true of all sorts of women. The bottom line is being able to be honest about a *free* choice, not one that was handed down or mandated by a fundamental environment or religion.

    To be shamed, intimidated or forced to do otherwise is not choice, and abets keeping *all* women down. Additionally, the same can be said of the sexist Western commercialized culture which applies unreasonable pressure on women and skews norms to create an unrealistic ideal of what a woman should be. See, it happens nearly everywhere.

    • Truth on June 19, 2013 at 10:13 am

      I don’t think it’s judgement to stand up for a version of feminism that doesn’t correspond exactly with the ideals of Western feminism. I think these conversations about intersectional feminism are necessary to it’s growth. As an African American woman, I have a different perspective about traditional feminism; similarly someone from another does, as well. The argument about choice is fundamental to all women’s rights. I don’t think the paradigm of Western feminism is always going to be a great fit for some Muslim women. There isn’t any one way to be a feminist. I thin the author is concerned that other feminist voices are being drowned out by Western ones; presenting a false perception of the Tunisian feminist movement. No doubt, there are probably women there who aren’t sure how to proceed due to their internal cultural conflicts about what a woman’s role in Muslim society and the world should be, but to assume that is the case for every woman living in fundamentalist country is arrogant and elitist. Negating a woman’s agency, knowledge of self and her environment is the most unfeminist thing a person can do. It is, in fact, a patriarchal attitude. Is it so hard to believe that a woman chooses to wear a hijab because she wants to? I look forward to learning more about the various schools of thought as it pertains to Islamic feminism. Keep it up FW.

      • A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

        But what you call “arrogant and elitest” is seen by other Arab and Muslim women as kindness and concern.

        Women are frequently sexually assaulted and stoned to death in fundamentalist Muslim areas.

        That’s not to say the majority of Muslims behave that way, but it would be logical to assume that Muslim women may have some inner conflicts, or even praise for abject paternalism for self-preservation.

        Bottom line, if it’s truly a woman’s choice to be part of a fundamentally religious community, fine. But if her choice or attitude keeps another woman from her freedom than she is no better than the men who do the oppressing.

  13. Ahsan Raza on June 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Hijab is right of Muslim women and their choice.

    • Bonnie on June 22, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Yes. It is the right of all women and men to dress the way they please. It is also my right to be appalled at a sexist culture that requires only females to cover themselves to maintain their sexual purity and modesty.

      That sickens me and it is my right to say so. Even more important, it is the right of girls and women who may never have been exposed to that point of view to hear it, so that one day they may in fact make a free choice over whether or not to wear it.

      Let’s not pretend that it is not mandated in certain countries and that girls are not beaten and killed (even in the West) when they defy their families and refuse to wear it.

      It’s hardly a harmless religious statement.

  14. Ahsan Raza on June 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Hijab is right of Muslim women and their choice.

    • Bonnie on June 22, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Yes. It is the right of all women and men to dress the way they please. It is also my right to be appalled at a sexist culture that requires only females to cover themselves to maintain their sexual purity and modesty.

      That sickens me and it is my right to say so. Even more important, it is the right of girls and women who may never have been exposed to that point of view to hear it, so that one day they may in fact make a free choice over whether or not to wear it.

      Let’s not pretend that it is not mandated in certain countries and that girls are not beaten and killed (even in the West) when they defy their families and refuse to wear it.

      It’s hardly a harmless religious statement.

  15. Ahsan Raza on June 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Hijab is right of Muslim women and their choice.

    • Bonnie on June 22, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Yes. It is the right of all women and men to dress the way they please. It is also my right to be appalled at a sexist culture that requires only females to cover themselves to maintain their sexual purity and modesty.

      That sickens me and it is my right to say so. Even more important, it is the right of girls and women who may never have been exposed to that point of view to hear it, so that one day they may in fact make a free choice over whether or not to wear it.

      Let’s not pretend that it is not mandated in certain countries and that girls are not beaten and killed (even in the West) when they defy their families and refuse to wear it.

      It’s hardly a harmless religious statement.

  16. Ahsan Raza on June 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Hijab is right of Muslim women and their choice.

    • Bonnie on June 22, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Yes. It is the right of all women and men to dress the way they please. It is also my right to be appalled at a sexist culture that requires only females to cover themselves to maintain their sexual purity and modesty.

      That sickens me and it is my right to say so. Even more important, it is the right of girls and women who may never have been exposed to that point of view to hear it, so that one day they may in fact make a free choice over whether or not to wear it.

      Let’s not pretend that it is not mandated in certain countries and that girls are not beaten and killed (even in the West) when they defy their families and refuse to wear it.

      It’s hardly a harmless religious statement.

  17. marie alvis on June 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Any organisation that has been working since 1989 is obviously completely imeffective, as there has been little or no improvement in all those years. Rights are not given, they are taken. Until women everywhere understand this simple truth, they will continue to struggle. Pitting us against each other is an age-old strategy.

  18. marie alvis on June 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Any organisation that has been working since 1989 is obviously completely imeffective, as there has been little or no improvement in all those years. Rights are not given, they are taken. Until women everywhere understand this simple truth, they will continue to struggle. Pitting us against each other is an age-old strategy.

  19. marie alvis on June 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Any organisation that has been working since 1989 is obviously completely imeffective, as there has been little or no improvement in all those years. Rights are not given, they are taken. Until women everywhere understand this simple truth, they will continue to struggle. Pitting us against each other is an age-old strategy.

  20. marie alvis on June 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Any organisation that has been working since 1989 is obviously completely imeffective, as there has been little or no improvement in all those years. Rights are not given, they are taken. Until women everywhere understand this simple truth, they will continue to struggle. Pitting us against each other is an age-old strategy.

  21. A.C. on June 19, 2013 at 1:39 am

    You are absolutely right, Marie. In fairness, that organization and others like it, probably can only do so much. It’s the same in parts of Russia, African countries, and East Asia.

    Rights aren’t given until they are hard won. And it’s very true that pitting women against each other to create separations is a very common anti-feminist tactic, as is ridiculing and minimalizing the movement.

    Theses erosions in solidarity keep women isolated and down. Women world-wide should be magnanimous and welcoming of support from each other.

  22. A.C. on June 19, 2013 at 1:39 am

    You are absolutely right, Marie. In fairness, that organization and others like it, probably can only do so much. It’s the same in parts of Russia, African countries, and East Asia.

    Rights aren’t given until they are hard won. And it’s very true that pitting women against each other to create separations is a very common anti-feminist tactic, as is ridiculing and minimalizing the movement.

    Theses erosions in solidarity keep women isolated and down. Women world-wide should be magnanimous and welcoming of support from each other.

  23. A.C. on June 19, 2013 at 1:39 am

    You are absolutely right, Marie. In fairness, that organization and others like it, probably can only do so much. It’s the same in parts of Russia, African countries, and East Asia.

    Rights aren’t given until they are hard won. And it’s very true that pitting women against each other to create separations is a very common anti-feminist tactic, as is ridiculing and minimalizing the movement.

    Theses erosions in solidarity keep women isolated and down. Women world-wide should be magnanimous and welcoming of support from each other.

  24. A.C. on June 19, 2013 at 1:39 am

    You are absolutely right, Marie. In fairness, that organization and others like it, probably can only do so much. It’s the same in parts of Russia, African countries, and East Asia.

    Rights aren’t given until they are hard won. And it’s very true that pitting women against each other to create separations is a very common anti-feminist tactic, as is ridiculing and minimalizing the movement.

    Theses erosions in solidarity keep women isolated and down. Women world-wide should be magnanimous and welcoming of support from each other.

  25. Reema on June 19, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Could not think of a better to have that written down. I am so very glad that there are some good writers out there who have a problem with how journalism is being used to make up peoples’ minds around the globe – about any issue. Also that there are some who have the balance of mind to not rave and rant using their personal religious beliefs, but to objectively point out the biased attitude of media(especially western) in this case. I have met so many people during my two year stay in Europe who ask me questions like ‘how were you able to get out of your house, let alone your country, for higher studies?’ or ‘did you have to run away from home to come out here?’ or ‘it is surprising to see an independent woman from Pakistan living here for furthering her education’. The most interesting of the comments I heard was: ‘You know that you can take off that piece of cloth from your head now that you are out of your country, right? Because you are safe here. No one will force you anymore’.
    -Bemused, since my father and brother hates the fact that I cover my head..

    • A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      You can be “bemused,” at their naïvete, but at least it’s out of concern and not religious hatred. That is, if these quotes are true. I’ve never heard anyone refer to a hijab as “a bit of cloth.” This post seems oddly planted to me, as if it were written by a man. It’s a possibility.

      • Reema on June 24, 2013 at 6:19 pm

        Dear A.C.
        It is nice to see that you have opinions about what everyone has written. And yes I am only bemused, and not ranting on about some feminist/religious righteousness, because I could see their intentions.
        I could also ask if you’re a woman yourself and has worn hijab for any duration and socialized with non-mulims to know what exact phrases people use to ask you questions, all over the world. I could get down to explaining who I am and hand out proofs that I do in-fact belong to the female gender. But lets just stick to the spirit of the article and not dole out suspicions and conspiracy theories just because someone doesn’t sound like how you think they should.
        The point of the article was not religious hatred, which is what I was commending in the first place.
        Peace.

  26. Reema on June 19, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Could not think of a better to have that written down. I am so very glad that there are some good writers out there who have a problem with how journalism is being used to make up peoples’ minds around the globe – about any issue. Also that there are some who have the balance of mind to not rave and rant using their personal religious beliefs, but to objectively point out the biased attitude of media(especially western) in this case. I have met so many people during my two year stay in Europe who ask me questions like ‘how were you able to get out of your house, let alone your country, for higher studies?’ or ‘did you have to run away from home to come out here?’ or ‘it is surprising to see an independent woman from Pakistan living here for furthering her education’. The most interesting of the comments I heard was: ‘You know that you can take off that piece of cloth from your head now that you are out of your country, right? Because you are safe here. No one will force you anymore’.
    -Bemused, since my father and brother hates the fact that I cover my head..

    • A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      You can be “bemused,” at their naïvete, but at least it’s out of concern and not religious hatred. That is, if these quotes are true. I’ve never heard anyone refer to a hijab as “a bit of cloth.” This post seems oddly planted to me, as if it were written by a man. It’s a possibility.

      • Reema on June 24, 2013 at 6:19 pm

        Dear A.C.
        It is nice to see that you have opinions about what everyone has written. And yes I am only bemused, and not ranting on about some feminist/religious righteousness, because I could see their intentions.
        I could also ask if you’re a woman yourself and has worn hijab for any duration and socialized with non-mulims to know what exact phrases people use to ask you questions, all over the world. I could get down to explaining who I am and hand out proofs that I do in-fact belong to the female gender. But lets just stick to the spirit of the article and not dole out suspicions and conspiracy theories just because someone doesn’t sound like how you think they should.
        The point of the article was not religious hatred, which is what I was commending in the first place.
        Peace.

  27. Reema on June 19, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Could not think of a better to have that written down. I am so very glad that there are some good writers out there who have a problem with how journalism is being used to make up peoples’ minds around the globe – about any issue. Also that there are some who have the balance of mind to not rave and rant using their personal religious beliefs, but to objectively point out the biased attitude of media(especially western) in this case. I have met so many people during my two year stay in Europe who ask me questions like ‘how were you able to get out of your house, let alone your country, for higher studies?’ or ‘did you have to run away from home to come out here?’ or ‘it is surprising to see an independent woman from Pakistan living here for furthering her education’. The most interesting of the comments I heard was: ‘You know that you can take off that piece of cloth from your head now that you are out of your country, right? Because you are safe here. No one will force you anymore’.
    -Bemused, since my father and brother hates the fact that I cover my head..

    • A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      You can be “bemused,” at their naïvete, but at least it’s out of concern and not religious hatred. That is, if these quotes are true. I’ve never heard anyone refer to a hijab as “a bit of cloth.” This post seems oddly planted to me, as if it were written by a man. It’s a possibility.

      • Reema on June 24, 2013 at 6:19 pm

        Dear A.C.
        It is nice to see that you have opinions about what everyone has written. And yes I am only bemused, and not ranting on about some feminist/religious righteousness, because I could see their intentions.
        I could also ask if you’re a woman yourself and has worn hijab for any duration and socialized with non-mulims to know what exact phrases people use to ask you questions, all over the world. I could get down to explaining who I am and hand out proofs that I do in-fact belong to the female gender. But lets just stick to the spirit of the article and not dole out suspicions and conspiracy theories just because someone doesn’t sound like how you think they should.
        The point of the article was not religious hatred, which is what I was commending in the first place.
        Peace.

  28. Reema on June 19, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Could not think of a better to have that written down. I am so very glad that there are some good writers out there who have a problem with how journalism is being used to make up peoples’ minds around the globe – about any issue. Also that there are some who have the balance of mind to not rave and rant using their personal religious beliefs, but to objectively point out the biased attitude of media(especially western) in this case. I have met so many people during my two year stay in Europe who ask me questions like ‘how were you able to get out of your house, let alone your country, for higher studies?’ or ‘did you have to run away from home to come out here?’ or ‘it is surprising to see an independent woman from Pakistan living here for furthering her education’. The most interesting of the comments I heard was: ‘You know that you can take off that piece of cloth from your head now that you are out of your country, right? Because you are safe here. No one will force you anymore’.
    -Bemused, since my father and brother hates the fact that I cover my head..

    • A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      You can be “bemused,” at their naïvete, but at least it’s out of concern and not religious hatred. That is, if these quotes are true. I’ve never heard anyone refer to a hijab as “a bit of cloth.” This post seems oddly planted to me, as if it were written by a man. It’s a possibility.

      • Reema on June 24, 2013 at 6:19 pm

        Dear A.C.
        It is nice to see that you have opinions about what everyone has written. And yes I am only bemused, and not ranting on about some feminist/religious righteousness, because I could see their intentions.
        I could also ask if you’re a woman yourself and has worn hijab for any duration and socialized with non-mulims to know what exact phrases people use to ask you questions, all over the world. I could get down to explaining who I am and hand out proofs that I do in-fact belong to the female gender. But lets just stick to the spirit of the article and not dole out suspicions and conspiracy theories just because someone doesn’t sound like how you think they should.
        The point of the article was not religious hatred, which is what I was commending in the first place.
        Peace.

  29. Bonnie on June 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    So the Muslim Women Against FEMEN are mad that FEMEN basically patronized them and stereotyped them as helpless and they now want to expose them (and other Western feminists) for the Islamophobes/Imperialists they are. Good plan! That’ll get you… It’ll get you… Well, nothing to be honest. Hmm. Maybe not such a good plan.

    I get the author’s frustration that Western women’s initiatives to help Muslim women get so much more press than the Muslim women’s own efforts, but that is not really the fault of Western women. It’s sort of like Hollywood, where are the civil rights stories are told through the eyes of white protagonists, as though people of colour were waiting around for permission or rescue from white people. It’s offensive. I think the author did a good job highlighting some other organizations.

    But his final point about Western feminists seeing them as “poor Muslim women”? Sorry, but that’s not patronizing, that’s fact. When an entire gender is denied freedom of movement and freedom of dress and equal rights – I can’t look at them and say “We’ll that’s just their culture, they are probably happy that way.” That sentiment is frankly xenophobic.

    I respect Muslim women – women everywhere really – too much to think that the same rights are privileges I enjoy are not theirs by right also.

    • Pik on June 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      I don’t need Western women’s tears & sympathies. I’m a Muslim woman from a majority Muslim country & I don’t have to fight to get equal pay because women in my country do get equal pay, hold important positions in government, major corporations, etc. We have equal rights as our fellow men in our constitution, we didn’t have to fight for our right to vote because it was never an option to leave us out. So please don’t lump us into the same mold. It’s insulting to paint us with the same brush. A muslim woman in Turkey has different values from a muslim woman in Malaysia, for example. I don’t close my eyes to the injustice my muslim sisters suffer in the hands of a patriarchal society under the conceit of religion, but hey! If the western society is so enlightened, the feminist movement there would be obsolete by now! Bottom line, women struggles exist in every part of the world, every culture, every religious denomination.
      As I’ve studied & worked in Western countries before, I know that women in Western countries still have a lot to fight for when it comes to their rights. Frankly I felt smug when I saw on the news that EU is thinking of applying a quota on corporations for women executives as we don’t have that kind of problem in my country. But feeling smug is exactly what western women feel when they see the (to quote the writer) “poor muslim women” in their news.
      This is what’s patronizing. Thinking we’re all desolate, forced to cover ourselves, uneducated, etc etc as if we’re all Talibanized. Please. I choose my own destiny, as with a lot of other Muslim women in a lot of countries.

      • A.C. on June 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        It’s unfair and untrue to say that Western women feel the way that the male author of this piece worded it. I know from personal experience that women from Eastern European countries and the middle-east have been subject to oppression and domestic violence – just like women from other areas of the world have.

        The difference would be the sexual assaults, abuse, and murder by those who twist their religion. Some Arab women in better living conditions have minimalized it, saying it’s only been a few. But if women want to care about others, no matter their heritage, they shouldn’t be demeaned.

        It’s further proof of someone growing up under duress not having compassion for their fellow women who could use it, or acknowledging the spirit of others who offer it. Help and understanding are offered, not imposed.

        To seek to deny or discourage any woman of assistance, if needed, due to a false sense of ethnic pride is what could be considered “smug.”

  30. Bonnie on June 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    So the Muslim Women Against FEMEN are mad that FEMEN basically patronized them and stereotyped them as helpless and they now want to expose them (and other Western feminists) for the Islamophobes/Imperialists they are. Good plan! That’ll get you… It’ll get you… Well, nothing to be honest. Hmm. Maybe not such a good plan.

    I get the author’s frustration that Western women’s initiatives to help Muslim women get so much more press than the Muslim women’s own efforts, but that is not really the fault of Western women. It’s sort of like Hollywood, where are the civil rights stories are told through the eyes of white protagonists, as though people of colour were waiting around for permission or rescue from white people. It’s offensive. I think the author did a good job highlighting some other organizations.

    But his final point about Western feminists seeing them as “poor Muslim women”? Sorry, but that’s not patronizing, that’s fact. When an entire gender is denied freedom of movement and freedom of dress and equal rights – I can’t look at them and say “We’ll that’s just their culture, they are probably happy that way.” That sentiment is frankly xenophobic.

    I respect Muslim women – women everywhere really – too much to think that the same rights are privileges I enjoy are not theirs by right also.

    • Pik on June 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      I don’t need Western women’s tears & sympathies. I’m a Muslim woman from a majority Muslim country & I don’t have to fight to get equal pay because women in my country do get equal pay, hold important positions in government, major corporations, etc. We have equal rights as our fellow men in our constitution, we didn’t have to fight for our right to vote because it was never an option to leave us out. So please don’t lump us into the same mold. It’s insulting to paint us with the same brush. A muslim woman in Turkey has different values from a muslim woman in Malaysia, for example. I don’t close my eyes to the injustice my muslim sisters suffer in the hands of a patriarchal society under the conceit of religion, but hey! If the western society is so enlightened, the feminist movement there would be obsolete by now! Bottom line, women struggles exist in every part of the world, every culture, every religious denomination.
      As I’ve studied & worked in Western countries before, I know that women in Western countries still have a lot to fight for when it comes to their rights. Frankly I felt smug when I saw on the news that EU is thinking of applying a quota on corporations for women executives as we don’t have that kind of problem in my country. But feeling smug is exactly what western women feel when they see the (to quote the writer) “poor muslim women” in their news.
      This is what’s patronizing. Thinking we’re all desolate, forced to cover ourselves, uneducated, etc etc as if we’re all Talibanized. Please. I choose my own destiny, as with a lot of other Muslim women in a lot of countries.

      • A.C. on June 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        It’s unfair and untrue to say that Western women feel the way that the male author of this piece worded it. I know from personal experience that women from Eastern European countries and the middle-east have been subject to oppression and domestic violence – just like women from other areas of the world have.

        The difference would be the sexual assaults, abuse, and murder by those who twist their religion. Some Arab women in better living conditions have minimalized it, saying it’s only been a few. But if women want to care about others, no matter their heritage, they shouldn’t be demeaned.

        It’s further proof of someone growing up under duress not having compassion for their fellow women who could use it, or acknowledging the spirit of others who offer it. Help and understanding are offered, not imposed.

        To seek to deny or discourage any woman of assistance, if needed, due to a false sense of ethnic pride is what could be considered “smug.”

  31. Bonnie on June 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    So the Muslim Women Against FEMEN are mad that FEMEN basically patronized them and stereotyped them as helpless and they now want to expose them (and other Western feminists) for the Islamophobes/Imperialists they are. Good plan! That’ll get you… It’ll get you… Well, nothing to be honest. Hmm. Maybe not such a good plan.

    I get the author’s frustration that Western women’s initiatives to help Muslim women get so much more press than the Muslim women’s own efforts, but that is not really the fault of Western women. It’s sort of like Hollywood, where are the civil rights stories are told through the eyes of white protagonists, as though people of colour were waiting around for permission or rescue from white people. It’s offensive. I think the author did a good job highlighting some other organizations.

    But his final point about Western feminists seeing them as “poor Muslim women”? Sorry, but that’s not patronizing, that’s fact. When an entire gender is denied freedom of movement and freedom of dress and equal rights – I can’t look at them and say “We’ll that’s just their culture, they are probably happy that way.” That sentiment is frankly xenophobic.

    I respect Muslim women – women everywhere really – too much to think that the same rights are privileges I enjoy are not theirs by right also.

    • Pik on June 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      I don’t need Western women’s tears & sympathies. I’m a Muslim woman from a majority Muslim country & I don’t have to fight to get equal pay because women in my country do get equal pay, hold important positions in government, major corporations, etc. We have equal rights as our fellow men in our constitution, we didn’t have to fight for our right to vote because it was never an option to leave us out. So please don’t lump us into the same mold. It’s insulting to paint us with the same brush. A muslim woman in Turkey has different values from a muslim woman in Malaysia, for example. I don’t close my eyes to the injustice my muslim sisters suffer in the hands of a patriarchal society under the conceit of religion, but hey! If the western society is so enlightened, the feminist movement there would be obsolete by now! Bottom line, women struggles exist in every part of the world, every culture, every religious denomination.
      As I’ve studied & worked in Western countries before, I know that women in Western countries still have a lot to fight for when it comes to their rights. Frankly I felt smug when I saw on the news that EU is thinking of applying a quota on corporations for women executives as we don’t have that kind of problem in my country. But feeling smug is exactly what western women feel when they see the (to quote the writer) “poor muslim women” in their news.
      This is what’s patronizing. Thinking we’re all desolate, forced to cover ourselves, uneducated, etc etc as if we’re all Talibanized. Please. I choose my own destiny, as with a lot of other Muslim women in a lot of countries.

      • A.C. on June 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        It’s unfair and untrue to say that Western women feel the way that the male author of this piece worded it. I know from personal experience that women from Eastern European countries and the middle-east have been subject to oppression and domestic violence – just like women from other areas of the world have.

        The difference would be the sexual assaults, abuse, and murder by those who twist their religion. Some Arab women in better living conditions have minimalized it, saying it’s only been a few. But if women want to care about others, no matter their heritage, they shouldn’t be demeaned.

        It’s further proof of someone growing up under duress not having compassion for their fellow women who could use it, or acknowledging the spirit of others who offer it. Help and understanding are offered, not imposed.

        To seek to deny or discourage any woman of assistance, if needed, due to a false sense of ethnic pride is what could be considered “smug.”

  32. Bonnie on June 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    So the Muslim Women Against FEMEN are mad that FEMEN basically patronized them and stereotyped them as helpless and they now want to expose them (and other Western feminists) for the Islamophobes/Imperialists they are. Good plan! That’ll get you… It’ll get you… Well, nothing to be honest. Hmm. Maybe not such a good plan.

    I get the author’s frustration that Western women’s initiatives to help Muslim women get so much more press than the Muslim women’s own efforts, but that is not really the fault of Western women. It’s sort of like Hollywood, where are the civil rights stories are told through the eyes of white protagonists, as though people of colour were waiting around for permission or rescue from white people. It’s offensive. I think the author did a good job highlighting some other organizations.

    But his final point about Western feminists seeing them as “poor Muslim women”? Sorry, but that’s not patronizing, that’s fact. When an entire gender is denied freedom of movement and freedom of dress and equal rights – I can’t look at them and say “We’ll that’s just their culture, they are probably happy that way.” That sentiment is frankly xenophobic.

    I respect Muslim women – women everywhere really – too much to think that the same rights are privileges I enjoy are not theirs by right also.

    • Pik on June 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      I don’t need Western women’s tears & sympathies. I’m a Muslim woman from a majority Muslim country & I don’t have to fight to get equal pay because women in my country do get equal pay, hold important positions in government, major corporations, etc. We have equal rights as our fellow men in our constitution, we didn’t have to fight for our right to vote because it was never an option to leave us out. So please don’t lump us into the same mold. It’s insulting to paint us with the same brush. A muslim woman in Turkey has different values from a muslim woman in Malaysia, for example. I don’t close my eyes to the injustice my muslim sisters suffer in the hands of a patriarchal society under the conceit of religion, but hey! If the western society is so enlightened, the feminist movement there would be obsolete by now! Bottom line, women struggles exist in every part of the world, every culture, every religious denomination.
      As I’ve studied & worked in Western countries before, I know that women in Western countries still have a lot to fight for when it comes to their rights. Frankly I felt smug when I saw on the news that EU is thinking of applying a quota on corporations for women executives as we don’t have that kind of problem in my country. But feeling smug is exactly what western women feel when they see the (to quote the writer) “poor muslim women” in their news.
      This is what’s patronizing. Thinking we’re all desolate, forced to cover ourselves, uneducated, etc etc as if we’re all Talibanized. Please. I choose my own destiny, as with a lot of other Muslim women in a lot of countries.

      • A.C. on June 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        It’s unfair and untrue to say that Western women feel the way that the male author of this piece worded it. I know from personal experience that women from Eastern European countries and the middle-east have been subject to oppression and domestic violence – just like women from other areas of the world have.

        The difference would be the sexual assaults, abuse, and murder by those who twist their religion. Some Arab women in better living conditions have minimalized it, saying it’s only been a few. But if women want to care about others, no matter their heritage, they shouldn’t be demeaned.

        It’s further proof of someone growing up under duress not having compassion for their fellow women who could use it, or acknowledging the spirit of others who offer it. Help and understanding are offered, not imposed.

        To seek to deny or discourage any woman of assistance, if needed, due to a false sense of ethnic pride is what could be considered “smug.”

  33. A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Your post is truthful and one I think most can be on-board with in terms of separating cultural traditions from harmful mandates.

    Many of these women are no doubt scared. So when someone comes in from any place; whether an organization, association or school, to let them know differently, it can cause inner and outer conflict.

    Women in other areas of the world have seen similar. These fights are hard won, but especially so when met by abuse, violence and murder.

  34. A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Your post is truthful and one I think most can be on-board with in terms of separating cultural traditions from harmful mandates.

    Many of these women are no doubt scared. So when someone comes in from any place; whether an organization, association or school, to let them know differently, it can cause inner and outer conflict.

    Women in other areas of the world have seen similar. These fights are hard won, but especially so when met by abuse, violence and murder.

  35. A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Your post is truthful and one I think most can be on-board with in terms of separating cultural traditions from harmful mandates.

    Many of these women are no doubt scared. So when someone comes in from any place; whether an organization, association or school, to let them know differently, it can cause inner and outer conflict.

    Women in other areas of the world have seen similar. These fights are hard won, but especially so when met by abuse, violence and murder.

  36. A.C. on June 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Your post is truthful and one I think most can be on-board with in terms of separating cultural traditions from harmful mandates.

    Many of these women are no doubt scared. So when someone comes in from any place; whether an organization, association or school, to let them know differently, it can cause inner and outer conflict.

    Women in other areas of the world have seen similar. These fights are hard won, but especially so when met by abuse, violence and murder.

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