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Sanctioning Violence with Silence: The Obama Administration's Policy on Women
by Danielle Avel
Why is it that President Obama can travel to Cairo to promote the wearing of the hijab, but when presented with an opportunity to make a relevant statement on women's rights issues in the Middle East, he and his Administration are silent? It has been more than two weeks since Iran was handed a seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women and still, not one word of condemnation from President Obama, Secretary Clinton, or UN Ambassador Rice. Granted, we have become conditioned to expect world-sanctioned hypocrisy over at the United Nations, but this new appointment comes at a time which is especially dangerous to the women who actually live in Iran.
The women's rights movement in the Islamic Republic has been building momentum for decades and in recent years has served as inspiration for human rights activists around the world.
Last summer in particular, women took to the streets of Iran in record numbers to peacefully protest what is widely considered to be a fraudulent Presidential election. Activists in Iran have capitalized on this momentum and they continue to protest peacefully — now in an attempt to reform their government's violent and oppressive laws against women.
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