The Israel Defense Forces blog (IDF) reported more women are rising through the Hezbollah organization and are willing to participate in suicide attacks. Hezbollah says more women are joining them, but they are still treated as the inferior sex.
Last month, Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah spoke to a group of women and told them women are needed as much as men, but the most outspoken advocate is Rima Fahri, the first woman appointed to the group’s political council. From the IDF Blog (emphasis mine):
In a 2010 interview with Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai, Rima Fahri – a woman who has risen through the ranks of Hezbollah’s leadership – stated that “all the women in Southern Lebanon are considered fighters in the ranks of the resistance.” Fahri added that women are by no means “disconnected from Hezbollah’s military struggle,” and that they in fact “take part in it in one way or another.”
During the interview, Fahri emphasized Hezbollah’s belief in obligating women to take part in terrorism – and even to commit suicide attacks. “The woman, like the man, is charged with a holy war against the enemy,” Fahri said. “The list of women willing to commit suicide attacks in Hezbollah is as long as the men’s. If there will be a need for the party’s women to start jihad activities then there’s no obstacle to it, ideologically or organizationally.”
This does not mean the women are equal to men. The women are segregated in “women’s directorates” and they make decisions on culture, education, and media, to make it easier for Hezbollah to draft women into the terrorist organization. Other than committing suicide the women are not allowed to fight. They collect money and must prepare the fighters before a battle and take care of him if he is injured. If women are allowed on the battlefield they are limited to tracking the enemy and transferring information and arms. Hezbollah, while wanting to use the women, took steps to remind them they are lower than men when they campaigned women to wear the traditional hijab.
These women think they are advancing in Hezbollah and offer many excuses why women in groups around them appear to have a few more freedoms. For example, women are not allowed to represent Hezbollah in the Lebanon parliament, but overall women are not banned from parliament. From Ynet News:
But when Fahri was asked in the Kuwaiti newspaper interview in 2010 about the disparity between her group and Hamas, in which 2006 party elections 13 women filed for positions in the group’s legislative council, she said that “our non-participation in the parliamentary elections is derived from several reasons which concern the Lebanese political arena, the election law and Hezbollah’s alliances. It’s known that Hezbollah gave up a lot of its quota for its allies.”
Professor Eyal Zisser, dean of humanities faculty at Tel Aviv University, said these women are still in a traditional society and there women in Lebanon’s parliament. From Ynet News:
“In Lebanon, women live in a traditional society,” he said.
“Nevertheless, there are women activists, especially after their husbands are murdered, and there are parliament members and ministers in Lebanon, for instance Bashir Gemayel’s wife, who was a parliament member for many years,” he said.
“But it doesn’t exist in Hezbollah. They have women’s groups, but no women in the forefront. It’s very traditional and patriarchal, like with our haredim.”
In the end Hezbollah does not care about these women and use this supposed advancement of women to hide their true motives. As the IDF Blog points out they exploit both sexes to achieve their agenda (holy war) while oppressing women.