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Women of the MENA region

March 5, 2013

Some things are just too hard to write about. Today 5 extremely brave women spoke out about the abuses and discrimination and violence against women that is going on now in the Middle East. It is getting so much worse for women there. Going from dictators to what they have now, which should not be called democracy, had caused a backlash against women and basic human rights for women.

You have heard about women getting attacked recently in Tahrir square. It is worse than you have heard. We heard first hand accounts of women getting “mod attacked” as they participate in peaceful protest against the new government. A woman will be separated from others, cornered, pulled away from her friends, a mob takes her away – strips her, naked, she is tormented by the men, beaten, raped. One woman was torn from her vagina to her anus and left.

The good news – this woman we saw today has a team of women and supportive men finding theses women, clothing them, and getting them to the hospital. These are brave, strong women.

Why go to the square if there is such risk?

Should half the population be removed from the streets? Should half the population be silent and invisible? Should half the population be forced out of the political process? Should half the population not have a voice?

Can we stand by and watch our sisters suffer? Should we be silent and let them fend for themselves?

What can we do?

Write to every politician you can. Write early, write often.

Tell them that you will not stand by and let your representatives exclude women from political discussions. Tell Pres. Obama that women need to be at the table of all foreign policy meetings and decisions, that any delegation from another country needs to have women – vocal women leaders. Our leaders need to be listening to the women of the regions to hear what they have to say.

Learn more. Go to ICAN. International Civil Society Action Network.

http://www.icanpeacework.org/

Go to their web site to see what you can do. We cannot be silent.

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