Jimmy Carter Cites 'Misguided Doctrines Of Male Superiority' In Religion's Role In Women's Oppression
1.Ultra-Orthodox Jews already serving in the military are considered insects within their own community, labeled as writes the New York Times.
“Comics-style posters have appeared in recent weeks on billboards across ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods nationwide portraying those soldiers, who volunteered under programs meant to attract Haredim, as fat, bearded, gun-toting caricatures in uniform snatching terrified Haredi children off the streets.”
Ultra-Orthodox Jews don’t work either, living off the generosity of the Israeli people, with their argument that secular life contaminates them. The new law calls for mandatory Haredi enlistment by 2017, except for 1,800 Torah prodigies. Enlistment in the military can be deferred until age 21, but imprisonment is required for those who refuse to serve, writes the Jerusalem Post.
2. Protesters in Chile have revived the debate over abortion in the case of an 11-year-old Chilean girl now pregnant after being raped repeatedly by her mother’s partner. Abortion is not permitted in Chile under any circumstances, even though the girl’s health is at serious risk if she is required to bear the child.
The penalty for having an abortion is 5 to 10 years in prison, with doctors facing up to 15 years in prison. It’s hoped that a re-election of former Chilean president Michele Bachelet this November could impact a future exception for rape and incest in Chile’s abortion law. Having served as head of UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), Bachelet supports this exception. The long-time advocate of children’s education also promises to invest 3% of the country’s GDP, or $8 billion in education for the country in which only 65% of people finish high school.
3. The outspoken former US president Jimmy Carter hosted representatives from 15 countries at The Carter Center this week, as part of his Mobilizing Faith for Women event. Carter is a long-time advocate for the position that religious leaders, including those in Christianity and Islam, share the blame for the mistreatment of women throughout the world.
Citing religious authorities who embrace “misguided doctrines of male superiority”, Carter said that these “theologically indefensible” doctrines contribute to “a political, social and economic structure where political leaders passively accept violence against women, a worldwide sex slave trade and inequality in the workplace and classroom.”
Carter is a lifelong Baptist who famously withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention over the issue of women’s equality. He argues that the subordination of women is “directly contrary to the basic premises of every great religion.”
4. British art collector Charles Saatchi has confirmed that he and wife Nigella Lawson are divorcing. Saatchi calls the decision to divorce Lawson “heartbreaking” in comments to London’s Mail. “I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella during the last year or so, and I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way.”
The couple separated after Saatchi was seen clutching his wife’s throat in disturbing pictures taken during an argument at Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair on June 9. Saatchi says his wife has refused to answer his calls or return messages since the images went public.
Sarah Lyall says “Like it or not, Ms. Lawson has become, for some, a symbol of the insidious nature of spousal abuse, an example, in their eyes, of the victim who does not realize she is a victim until outsiders frame her situation that way.”
5. Women’s rights activists in Afghanistan are concerned that a court has reversed the convictions of the three Afghans jailed for torturing Sahar Gul who refused to become a prostitute after being sold by her stepbrother for $5,000 and forced to marry at age 13 or 14. When Gul refused to consummate the marriage, her in-laws locked her in a basement where they burned her with hot wires, pulled out her fingernails and twisted her skin with pliers for months.
The issue is whether the assailants should have been convicted of assault, not attempted murder. Women’s rights activists in Kabul say they will press to have the three defendants retried.
Read also WSJ’s Afghan Women Fear Rights Slipping Away, focused on Noor Zia Atmar, who served in Afghanistan’s first post-Taliban Parliament and is now on the run from her abusive husband.