Posts Tagged ‘Women’s Rights’


New AOL Lemondrop post: Women & the Iran Protests

July 15, 2009

The following is an excerpt of my latest post with AOL’s To read the full post, click on the link at the end of this post.

Contrary to the news media’s coverage, the protests in Iran contesting the reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad didn’t end when Michael Jackson died — though they are fading. One of the most intriguing facets of the protests is who’s at the forefront: women.

In a country not well known for women’s rights, this is quite remarkable. You might have heard about the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, a young Iranian woman shot in the streets of Tehran. Though it’s worth noting that Neda’s family said she wasn’t political, she has become the female face of the protest.

Women have been vocally supporting the candidacy of Mir Hussein Mousavi, the chief opponent to incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was declared the winner the morning after the June 12 election. While the Guardian Council — which oversees elections — did a partial recount after Mousavi filed an appeal, the original results were upheld. For the last four weeks, women have marched alongside other protesters through the streets of Iran, even as officials try to stop them, tear-gas them or beat them.

Click here to keep reading.


Quick Hit: The Afghan Rape Law

April 6, 2009

I just want to share briefly how saddened I am by a new Afghanistan law commonly known now as the “Afghan Rape Law.” This law, passed just a few days ago, was called “abhorrent” by President Obama. Basically, it legalizes rape of a woman by her husband. From Think Progress:

“As long as the husband is not traveling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night,” Article 132 of the law says. “Unless the wife is ill or has any kind of illness that intercourse could aggravate, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband.”

The law would also force women to get their spouses’ permission before leaving the house, looking for a job, going to the doctor or receiving education.

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), said the law “legalizes the rape of a wife by her husband. … The law violates women’s rights and human rights in numerous ways.”

The good news is, after substantial international outcry Afghani president Hamid karzai has agreed to “review” the law. However, he still argues the law has been “misinterpreted” by the West. Really? Seems pretty clear to me.


Oops, I said the F-word

March 23, 2009

Feminism, that is. I get a lot of flack from people about being a feminist. Sometimes from men; sometimes also from other women. It seems women are often afraid to call themselves “feminists” because they don’t want to be viewed as crazy or radical.

I think the term has been hijacked from us, and we’re at the point where it is perceived as something totally different than what it truly means. I can say something about feminist bloggers at a table and get smirks — not even from guys, but from other women.

So I will say it once and for all: there’s nothing wrong with being a feminist. And there’s certainly nothing “radical” about wanting equal rights and equal opportunity for all. The notion that wanting such a thing would make you considered radical, crazy, or bitchy, is just plain nonsense.

If you are a woman who tries to disassociate yourself with feminism, I ask you: why? Is it because of all the negative connotations that come with the F-word?

We don’t hate men. We don’t think women should be superior to men. We don’t think all women should put their careers over family, or that no woman should be a stay-at-home mom. What we do believe in is that women should have options to do whatever they want with their lives, just like men. We believe in eradicating problems like wage gaps and gender discrimination, and we believe in pushing forward legislation like the Lilly Ledbetter Law and the Family and Medical Leave Act which create equality for women and men.

It’s really not much more complicated than that, so I’m not sure why feminism gets such a bad rap.   You shouldn’t have to be ashamed of calling yourself a feminist.  If you are a woman who is afraid to call yourself a feminist, it might be time to get over it. Equality is kind of worth fighting for.