Recently, a 16-year-old Moroccan teen committed suicide after she was forced to marry the man who raped her. You may not have heard about it because you have been too caught up with the hyperbole of the imaginary “war on women” in America. Article 475 of Moroccan law actually allows rapists to marry their victims in order to avoid prosecution. There is a war on women in the world and it is not happening in the United States. Let’s do a little compare and contrast here to gain some perspective, shall we?
In some countries around the world, women aren’t allowed to drive, vote, get a job, or walk outside unattended by a man not to mention they aren’t afforded the opportunity to get an education much past middle school — if even that far. In America, women can and are encouraged to partake in all of these things.
In the Middle East, access to birth control is essentially nonexistent. In America, a woman’s biggest concern is whether or not she can coerce a religious institute to violate their conscience and pay for her contraception or not. Let’s not forget she is able to choose whether she can use birth control to begin with ... in the Middle East, not so much.
Under Sharia law, men are permitted by law to beat their wives. Men are also the only person who can file for divorce. And the divorce settlement for the wife being divorced? None. A woman who has been raped must have three male witnesses speak on her behalf and, more often than not, a woman who has been raped ends up murdered by her brother or father or uncle to preserve the family’s “honor” because, you know, logically, it is a woman’s fault that she was raped. In America, on the other hand, women can get an abusive husband imprisoned for domestic violence, can leave their husbands whenever or for whatever reason they want, will end up with some sort of divorce settlement, and have the right to prosecute rapists with or without any witnesses. Also, family members aren’t in the habit of murdering their loved ones who get raped. In fact, there are tons or organizations and resources for victims of rape.
If you go anywhere outside of the Western, developed world, you will see the plight of women. In some countries, women have no more value than cattle. In other countries, women are deemed worthless if they have the misfortune of becoming a widow. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a town throw a widow on a burning pyre with her dead husband’s body before ... but that is an all too common practice in some places.
Americans on both side of the aisle, I entreat you — please have a global perspective before you decide to throw around hyperbole in regards to women’s rights here in America. I’m the first to admit, life here is not perfect, but if I do a little research on a typical woman’s life in the Middle East or Africa, my minor frustrations are nothing compared to what those women endure. Instead of using fear mongering as a political tactic, let’s have a global perspective and remember where the real war on women is and try to take steps to fight it there instead of waging in a false war here.