Monday, October 10, 2005

Looking for the wrong things

Today's National Public Radio news had a story about the increasing availability of cosmetic plastic surgery in Iraq. It reminds me of similar stories of Afghanistan, where the sign of advancing freedom was supposed to be availability of cosmetics previously not available under the Taliban.

Personally, I think what is more important is whether girls can go to school, whether women can work, can travel safely unescorted, and can visit a doctor; but the news media doesn't cover that.

And why aren't the news talking about this:

Iraq's provisional constitution of 1970, at least until the 1990s, held a fairly progressive family law process. Iraqi women had access to education, the ability to refuse arranged marriages, and the right to full inheritance; their testimony counted in court; and they had a fighting chance to keep custody of their children if divorced or widowed. Islamic family law would change these rights, and not to women's advantage. Activists say that, judging from drafts of the constitution revealed so far, a woman's right to a divorce without her husband's consent, custody of male children past a certain age, and inheritance would be diminished, and she would not longer be considered equal to a man in the law's eyes.

(from )