Sunday, April 30, 2006

Yemeni Women Get It On!

From NPR comes this story about Yemeni women testing their "traditional" roles in a muslim country.

I only caught bits and pieces (I had to feed the hungry dodo, Pickwick, before she ate something of real importance) but it seems that efforts by the women in this country are making the men nervous, which is always a good thing in my opinion.

One woman had 6 children and kept busy looking after them and their rundown hotel with her husband, until he died. Now she has not only turned the original hotel around, she owns 2 others despite pressure from traditionalists not to do it because it was unseemly for a woman to be involved in business. She still dresses in the traditional robes that cover her from head to toe, only her eyes visible as she conducts her business. Her laughter was happy as she told the reporter about turning one hotel into three.

The other woman is running for president, something unheard of in Yemen. She has no illusions about her chances of winning but wants to make a point about how times and attitudes are changing in the Middle East. One of two wives to her husband, she says that learning how to negotiate with the first wife has prepared her for a life in politics.

[NOTE: Islam allows a man up to 4 wives, so long as he can provide from them equally. The women must consent to the arrangement. First introduced by the prophet Muhammed (peace be unto him) during a time of war and codified into the Quran, this law is meant to protect women and children who have been widowed by the war. It is not unlike the Judeo-Christian's Old Testament admonition for the brother to marry the wife of his dead brother in order to take care of her.]

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