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Iraq - new "Marry a Grandad" law

(ACPA-Baghdad) It used to be that women had no rights in Iraq. But ever since the US brought democracy the outlook for the fairer sex has been improving daily. Now, Iraqi politicians are in the process of approving the Jaffari personal status law and extending women's rights all the way down to girls - yes, those very same girls who are traditionally thought to be worthless creatures in conservative Arab societies. Under the new law, girls will no longer be forced to wait until they are eighteen before they can go out and get married. It's women's' lib on steroids.

 fair use of image for article purpose Take Fatima (and indeed that is exactly what her Father's friends are now thinking), well, she is sick of elementary school and all that annoying homework. It gets worse: "Papa won't even buy me a new prayer mat for my Fulla doll," she told NPR. "I've heard about this new rule and I'm going to marry Mohammed from next door."

Marry a Giddo

"No habibi, no," her friend Miriam advises. "He is ten and he just wants to play with the other boys. My grandpa bought me a new Fulla doll because he has lots of money. You want to marry Mohammed's grandpa."

And so she did.

(At time of press she hadn't yet received any new dolls.)

And isn't it all just very ironic really? While religious conservatives in Iraq are extending rights from women to girls, in the US, religious conservatives are trying their best to take long established rights away from women.

Of course, they want to stop women from making decisions about their own bodies, that's the norm for any religion, but their latest fad is to do everything they can to deny women access to contraception in health care plans. Perhaps it's time that Americans start taking lessons from Iraq when it comes to gender equality!

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