REVIVING LYSISTRATA

By William Markiewicz

What the women have to endure in the fundamentalist Muslim countries makes us wonder at the resilience of the gender. When a woman is sick she has no right to go to the doctor; the husband goes to explain her case. In subtropical and tropical weather, women remain covered, overexposed to heat and underexposed to sun; osteoporosis and avitaminosis must be rampant. The chronic lack of exercise adds to the trauma. They are also deprived of basic education. Throughout their childhood girls are practically sequestered in their homes without enjoying a moment of freedom outside. All this in the name of God. The situation will never change by itself. Only politics may contribute to improve the fate of this 'endangered species' - women under fundamentalist regimes. In the Western world the suffragettes first, 'liberated women' next, knew, not only how to eliminate injustice but in many cases took a position of superiority in society. In the Western world we witness various campaigns like those to alleviate world hunger. How come no similar movements have emerged to improve the condition of women in those fundamentalist countries? The women's organizations in the West have shown, up to now, a blatant indifference to the fate of their 'sisters' in countries where women are, in fact, jailed under the pretext of religion.

At the beginning of the civil war in Yugoslavia, the Jews in New York demonstrated in favour of the separatists and permanently affected the destiny of Yugoslavia and in particular doomed the Serbs. (See "Golem ...") Now they probably realise that they were wrong but the women's organization can take a model of what massive demonstrations can achieve. Under the motto "no political or economic relations with the jailers of women", women's organizations could organize giant demonstrations throughout the world.

Oppressed women in their countries, men throughout the world, will do nothing for the sake of those foreign far away women. But women of the world could and should. They can change history. What is important is to start.

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