Michael K Gray wrote:
Garlic wrote:Is there any example of universal suffrage being durably repelled? Even fascist regimes upheld women's suffrage.
Also Iran(1) and I would not be surprised if Egypt(2) and Tunisia(3) followed suit, but not without some resistance. Certainly where the Salafis have influence you can count on whatever reforms were made favouring women will be rolled back and/or ignored.
Incidentally, the recent Saudi announcement(4) about women only work oriented cities (last I heard it was a total of three) should not be taken as a sign that they intend to loosen the reins any time soon. From what I see it does mean that the decision makers have been convinced it is a good idea to expand their work force to include a pool of currently unexploited and idle resources. They are in fact only doing this now because they chose a different development model(5) from other Muslim countries.
I say idle because the Saudis have a considerable number of imported domestic labour(6) to chauffeur their womenfolk hither and yon, and servants to cook, clean, wash and child care. So that probably represents a significant number of educated women freed from the burdens of child care and other domestic responsibilities, and consequently with enough time on their hands to get up to considerable mischief.
Those of us here who are of the male persuasion probably have a good idea what the word "mischief" implies, and why it is enough to cause one to break out in a cold sweat at the thought.
So they are probably killing two birds with one stone, so as to speak.
Finally, in the course of writing this, I was reminded of something I had bookmarked well over a year ago. But more about that later. I am heading off to bed now.
1). WOMEN IN ISLAMIC SOCIETIES: A SELECTED REVIEW OF SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/pdf-files/Wom ... ieties.pdf
Reforms of family law often have been limited by the state’s perceived need to appease
conservative social elements and, since the 1970s, growing Islamist movements. Islamist
movements, sometimes through outright state takeover, as in Iran, occasionally have
succeeded in rolling back “women-friendly” reforms previously achieved.
2). American Univrsity of Cairo : Egypt’s Revolution: Has it Left the Egyptian Women Behind?http://www.aucegypt.edu/news/Pages/News ... px?rid=351
On women’s status in the constitution, El Bendary argued that many, including women, were frustrated with the formation of the Constitutional Committee that drafted the constitution, which did not live up to the ambitions of women. “Certain articles that stipulated positive discrimination, like the article specifying a quota for women, were removed from the current constitution and instead there was a focus on the traditional role of women.”
3). World Report 2012: Tunisiahttp://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/wo ... 12-tunisia
On August 16 the Council of Ministers adopted a draft decree to lift Tunisia’s reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. However, the government maintained “a general declaration” suggesting that it might not implement reforms that conflict with Islam.
4). Saudi Arabia plans new city for women workers onlyhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/au ... en-workers
The proposals follow government instructions to create more job openings for women to enable them to have a more important role in the country's development.
5). Domestic Workers Count: Global Data on an Often Invisible Sectorhttp://www.uni-kassel.de/upress/online/ ... t.frei.pdf
significant is the domestic work sector in the Gulf countries, with 1.2
to two million working in Saudi Arabia (Human Rights Watch 2007)
6) Refer to note 1). above for the title and document.
The levels of Muslim women’s participation in the paid labor force are best explained by
a particular economy’s development strategy and consequent need for female labor,
rather than by, for example, religious ideology or cultural beliefs in male
breadwinner/female-homemaker roles. In the oil-boom years prior to the mid-1980s, the
oil-centered economies of MENA did not require female labor in order to grow. Thus,
oil-rich nations such as Saudi Arabia had few women in the labor force. By contrast,
Muslim counties that sought to develop through labor-intensive industrial production,
such as Tunisia, Malaysia, or Indonesia, feature high female labor force participation.