Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trading Shackles

News footage shows the rejoicing in Libya at the prospect of democracy; Libya’s new leaders said they intend to make Islamic Sharia law the main source of legislation. And although it does not necessarily mean that the government will implement all provisions (some harsh) of Sharia - it is subject to interpretation, laws related to personal status - divorce, inheritance, marriage will likely apply. Women are not granted full equality in this system. I understand and respect the rights of religions and cultures to establish their criteria, however shouldn't participation in said be voluntary; chosen of a free heart and mind? This will be difficult when the laws and hence the penal systems uphold the new way forward.

I can't help wondering what this will mean for women -- half the population. Will the women of Libya who fought as vigorously as their male counterparts for change and liberty be forced into societal shackles, or will they be able to exercise free will? Will they have the right to choose their own destiny; and will there be harsh punishment for non-compliance? It is troubling to me that this direction for the nation is being determined by a leadership practically devoid of female voice.

I can only hope that the women of Libya will get the life they seek and deserve. And that's the political rant for the day.

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