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JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Oh please.

Neither is India’s common practice of bride burning.

And its common practice of arranged marriages for young girls (sometimes twelve years old) to old well-off men who give money to a poor family.

And there is India’s terrible tradition towards widows, often the same unfortunate young girls who were pushed into an arranged marriage with an old man.

The widows are treated as unwelcome living corpses, having to dress certain ways, live certain ways, and not allowed to remarry, even though they may be in the prime of life. Suicide is a common way out of this hell.

In many countries in South America we have the most horrendous treatment of women. Young migrant women in Mexico have been murdered by the hundreds with no effort to solve the crimes. South America’s machismo culture treats women in the home as virtual slaves and even in some places makes women alone on the street fair game for rape.

In Thailand, dirt-poor families not infrequently sell young girls into prostitution, a practice providing the allure for the West’s thousands of sexual-tourists there.

Women in Ultra Orthodox Jewish communities, a throwback culture to another century, are treated as possessions, not being able to divorce abusive husbands without losing their children plus suffering many more inequities.

The position of women in fundamentalist Christian communities, including the Mennonites, is an example of the same kind of throwback culture, a throwback to a time when women had no real voice in almost anything.

Then there’s the glorious working of the Catholic Church in many poor parts of the world, and even in those not so poor, a long tale of abuse and perversion.

The list goes on and on, especially for third-world countries.

It is a matter of historical record that women only receive fair treatment with sound, long-term economic development. It was only in the 20th century that a Canadian woman could vote, but even more importantly, the banks would not even let a woman have an account without a husband’s approval not that many decades ago.

You seem to have selected out Iran for purely propaganda purposes, Iran being America’s flavor-of-the-month to castigate and threaten.

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