maandag 8 maart 2010

Statement on the occasion of the international women's day

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.

The League of Arab Students in Europe

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