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Darlene goes searching for any evidence of positive statements about the election from western women's rights activists.

Why would they be? Is the new "elected" government going to suddenly fix abuse of and discrimination against women in Iraq? Really?

Mr Lefty, you're nothing if not brave for piping up at this time of joy for the long-suffering peoples of Iraq. Especially persecuted women there.

Your churlish comment in the face of genuine Iraqi hope smacks of the same nastiness motivating the deafening silence from so-called progressive womens rights activists.

If you'd taken the trouble to read the supplied link to Darlene's post you'd realise how silly you sound,

THE FATE of Iraqi women's rights rests on the outcome of today's election. Zainab Al-Suwaij and Ala Talabani, two prominent Iraqi women leaders, say the elections will decide whether women will really become equal citizens or lose their voices.

About as silly as you sound in Evil Pundit's comment box...

Though I'll forgive your misguided comment with this advice - Rome wasn't built in a day. Baby steps, bro.

I was interested to learn that each slate of candidates was required to include at least one woman. Of course, the slates themselves, at least on the ballots, were not always spelled out, and even on lists with names, some remained anonymous. But I understand that other democratic nations vote for lists rather than candidates - democracy: never the same twice, I guess. It surely will be a long haul before equal rights for all in Iraq, although even in Saddam's tyrannical secular society, women had more rights than they presently do elsewhere in the Arab world, so maybe fewer "baby steps" than more.

It is my understanding that Saddam did give women some rights at some point in his, ummmm, career, but they were rescinded later on.

As is usual with dictatorships, some women have complained that only female members of the Ba'ath party saw any benefit during those times.

To quote Human Rights Watch (under Hussein's reign)for just a few example of women's lot, "Women and girls have also suffered from increasing restrictions on their freedom of mobility and protections under the law. In collusion with conservative religious and tribal leaders, the government issued numerous decrees and introduced legislation negatively impacting women's legal status in the labor code, criminal justice system and personal status laws."

The article goes on to talk about the growth of honour killings and other horrors.

As for Mr Lefty, nobody is expecting things to change in an instant, but the ability to determine who runs the show is a good step in the right direction.

Having a voice means that you can start demanding the things that allow women to participate as equals such as access to education, decent wages etc etc

Democracy is really the only system that truly gives women this opportunity.

Don't being such a pessimist, Mr Lefty.

Or rather don't be such a pessimist, Mr Lefty.

It was good to say a slightly edited variation of the same thing twice anyway.

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