Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

It would be wrong to think that inequality is an islamic problem.

I wrote this after reading Evokes week six story.

It would be wrong to think that inequality was an islamic problem or something caused by islamic militants.

Although only 20 economies have equal rights for women and men in those countries it is obvious equal rights don't mean equality. Equality and Women's rights are live issues where ever you find yourself in the world.

Interesting statistics from:


U.S. women represent 51% of the population, but comprise less than:
  • 1.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs. Source: Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers (www.catalystwomen.org
  • 2.7% of the highest paid officers at Fortune 500 companies. Source: Catalyst
  • 15% of the members of Congress. Source: Women's Research and Education Institute (http://www.wrei.org/pubs/WC_108.pdf )
During retirement, women's median annual Social Security benefits reach only 70% of men's
benefits. Source: Institute for Women's Policy Research (www.iwpr.org)

Every nine seconds a woman is beaten in the United States. Source: American Institute on
Domestic Violence 2001 (www.aidv-usa.com/Statistics.htm)

One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or
completed rape in her lifetime. Source: Rape, Abuse & Incest
National Network (www.rainn.org)

In the 39% of attacks reported to police, there is only a 16.3% chance the
rapist will end up in prison. Source: Rape, Abuse & Incest National
Network (www.rainn.org)

In Saudi Arabia where Sareh was held hostage (Its the only country where women are not allowed to drive on public roads) more women than men educated at University.

Among the 12 to 15 age group the illiteracy rate is 1.4 which is just marginally higher than the US.

In the US 27.9 percent of men and only 26.2 percent of women go on to higher education, in Saudi Arabia it is 36.1 percent of women and only male is 24.7 percent for men. So Saudi Arabia has by percentage more highly educated women than men. It also has an extremely low rape rate. Although other rates of violence against women in Saudi Arabia is very high it has the highest rate for violence against pregnant women.. They are one of the wealthiest populations of women in the world and the have had women's banks for decades

Women all over the world have real difficultes these are often the same: violence, poverty, lack of choice. What causes these problems may be very different and what will help will need to be tailored too.

Violence should never be tolerated
, never glossed over, and the weakest people should be supported, helped and empowered. This should be enshrined in law and these laws should be enforced.

Please don't do a them and us thing. WE can't claim ignorance with these key board under our fingers. Let's all of us be real human beings.

Views: 23

Comment by Samiran Roy on April 8, 2010 at 2:01pm
I completely agree. Gender inequality, is not purely an Islamic problem.

Is India any different, with 50 million girls missing, and one girl raped every 20 seconds?
Comment by Edwige Lelievre on April 11, 2010 at 3:04pm
It is so true that equal rights don't mean equal opportunities. It is of course a good beginning, but it is not enough. It is of course an education issue and religions are sometimes extremely bad on that topic... But it is really everywhere. When you buy a doll's tea party to a girl, and a GI Joe to a boy, it is already a really bad things for changing mind about what men and women should do.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 11, 2010 at 3:32pm
hahaha - this is a good expose- but pje you know me what if i say that it is a question of degrees - let me argue for the fun of it - see, if you speak of food there is food security, food crisis, food shortage to take just three terms - in the same way can it be said women in some islamic societies are going through a crisis of being oppressed whereas in the matter of degrees this is not so in the usa which is more of a pluralistic society
you know usa is called the metling pot or bowl i forget which
and canda is called the salad bowl
india is called a functional anarchy
islamic countries are mostly monolithic in culture and religion ot at least try to be and claim to be
if one a scale of one to ten we were to speak of gender equality
who would stand where?
i leave it to you to answer , having played the devil's advocate unsuccessfully i hope...
by the wy i dont know in which country you are at present so forgive me if i have unwitting ly hurt and sentiments of nationality or presence
Comment by Edwige Lelievre on April 11, 2010 at 4:46pm
Maybe there are more issues of fundamentalism with Islam than other religions, but I am not so sure about that. But people from countries with a moderate Muslim culture are not so different to people from Christian culture's country, even about women rights.

Some of my friend are Muslims, coming from countries like Iran, Tunisia, Morocco (and some of them are girls) they have a very high level of education, though they don't come from wealthy families, are really open minded and we used to talk a lot about religion together.

I can promise you they do not feel inferior to men. Even in their approach of religion, they are not afraid to question it. The only real cultural difference I see (for moderate people) is about burying someone : women are not allowed to burial. The religious explanation about that is that it is a really tough experiment and women should not have to see that. So women are forbidden in burial. I have to admit and find this paternalism dangerous. But we are still discussing on that subject between friends ;)

Another point of cultural difference is about h***sexuality. But it is another subject and I don't think it is only about religion. Like a lot of thing, education can help a lot limiting inequality and intolerance. If you are educated, then you can work and you can think by yourself, so you get some respect, and that is the first step, whatever the country where women live is Muslim or not.
Comment by PJE on April 11, 2010 at 5:19pm
I have just written a really eloquent and fabuous response to you a.v.koshy. It took me an hour and just as I was getting to the end I pushed the wrong key and it has gone...

I am in France.

Breifly, I think it is really illogical to always make a noise about the bad things bad people do and ignore the good ones. So for example in the FGM success story I posted about it was the Islamic religious leaders in that area that were spearheading the campaign. So credit where credit is due, these voices who stand up for women's health should be heard. They should be famous.
Where are the Afghan men who are working for women's rights and freedoms, if they are given a voice and visibility there is accountability and hope. Instead it is ranting and hate that gets all the news.
There is of course oppression in fundamentalism. RAWA women are muslims, they have men who support them. Their argument at the moment is that the US is fighting ostensibly to improve women's rights but they are sending the dollars right into the coffers of people who are also oppressing women terribly. I don't know if that is right or not but I can't see why they would lie about it. Perhaps as devil's advocate you could enlighten me.

Anyway as I am writing I might as well add that for hundreds of years Islam was a world of light and learning while Europe made its way through the dark ages.

In the end I'd rather not have anyone talk about religion (I might make an exception for poets and my best friends), I think it should be almost entirely private to the individual but that's a purely personal opinion and I wouldn't legislate!

Thank you for you comment Edwige, my experience is much like yours.
Thank you Samiran too.

Best wishes
Comment by Yumna Moosa on April 12, 2010 at 4:57am
Thank you for raising this, PJE :)
Comment by L on April 13, 2010 at 2:59am
Gender inequality reveals how fragile our species is.


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