Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A VIEW ON FEMINISM FROM AN ARAB NATIONALIST PERSPECTIVE

Statement on the occasion of the international women's day

The League of Arab Students in Europe

Each year on 8 March International Women's Day is
celebrated worldwide. A significant day on which we are all
reminded of the women who were and still are in a sorry
plight, mainly in those places where abuse and gender
inequality still prevails. Knowledge leads us to make
choices, that is why as Arabs and simply human beings, we
strongly object to this revolting comportment towards women
and all other appalling evil practices in the homeland.
Violations of the basic human rights such as the occasional
honor killing in Jordan, the child marriages in Saudi
Arabia, the ill treatment of foreign maids in Lebanon and
Syria to the Gulf to Morocco are still being practiced as
we speak.

The struggle for gender equality in the Arab world is part
of a larger struggle for emancipation and progression of
women worldwide. Appearances can be deceiving, because the
position of a women in Europe is as worrying as in other
countries, women in Western countries are far from being
pampered. For example, they earn far less than men in doing
the same job and are still faced to many career obstacles.
As far as goes politics, it is still the voice of men that
has the upper hand. Sexual abuse and domestic violence are
still taboos all over the world.

At the same time we do not condone some western projections
on Arab women and the way they patronize the Arab feminist
struggle. Western feminists dig their grave with their own
knife and fork and drag alone Arab women in this so-called
concept of liberation, which is simply a projection of
their own way of living. Some Western feminists went as far
as to applaud for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan,
and as it is widely recorded, the situation of the Iraqi
woman has deteriorated drastically since the invasion.
Prostitution, fear of terrorism, loss of livelihood,
widowhood, an increase in domestic violence, the inability
to send children to school, and other forms of deprivation
are a reflection of 'liberated' Iraq and Afghanistan. A
stubborn misconception is a patriarchal domination
inextricably linked to the Arab-Islamic civilization. The
rise of the number of Islamist women in politics has played
an important role in these movements. Elsewhere, in Europe
for example, we see that the veiled woman is part of the
vanguard for gender equality and freedom of choice.

In the framework of our struggle for a world based on
justice, the League of Arab students in Europe cannot but
acknowledge that gender equality plays an indispensable
role in obtaining this goal. Every cloud has a silver
lining, therefore we fully endorse International Women's
Day and hope that the noble goal of emancipation of women
will not remain a hollow promise or an empty slogan.

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