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[ADC-ITF] Kuwait vs. Iraq

 Women have once again formally been denied political 
 rights in the oil-rich statelet of Kuwait. On Nov. 30 the 
 Parliament voted against a bill that would have allowed 
 women to vote and run for office. Hundreds of men cheered 
 after the vote was taken.
 In neighboring Iraq, women have long played a prominent 
 role in society. Women vote and work outside the home. 
 Many doctors, teachers and government workers are women.
 The Western media would have us believe that the problem 
 in Kuwait is Islamic fundamentalism. But the people of 
 Iraq come from the same religious background as the 
 Kuwaitis. It's not religion but imperialist politics that 
 have reinforced extreme reaction in Kuwait.
 It was the former colonial power, Britain, that divided 
 the area into different countries. When it set up Kuwait, 
 it made sure that the richest oil fields were under the 
 control of a feudal family, the Al-Sabah dynasty, groomed 
 to protect imperialist interests as well as its own. This 
 dynasty enshrines male domination in Kuwait even today.
 But Iraq had an anti-colonial revolution in 1958 that 
 led to a secular state and the development of a modern 
 infrastructure. Iraq's refusal to knuckle under to U.S. 
 and British imperialism is the real reason it is under 
 sanctions today--sanctions that threaten to destroy the 
 progress Iraqi women and men have made since the 
 --By Deirdre Griswold
                          - END -
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