It’s International Women’s Day, and third-wave feminists around the western world are taking the opportunity to raise awareness of the struggles that middle-class women face every day, like having to use tampons; not being able to walk around nude with just a pair of nipple tassels on; manspreading; and, of course, the phony gender pay gap. But here are six countries that won’t be celebrating today.
Party capital of the Middle East, Iraq, is not shy of its reputation for poor treatment of women. Just this Thursday four women were stoned to death “in front of a large crowd of people” in central Mosul. The punishment was as a result of “committing adultery”; a term that could mean being the victims of rape under Islamist rule. The sentencing was handed down by ISIS-led Sharia courts who refused to mention the men involved in the crime. This is also the country where, according to a UNICEF survey, 57% of adolescent girls believe that it’s okay for a husband to beat his wife under certain circumstances.
95% of girls in Somalia between the ages of 4 and 11 are subject to female genital mutilation, or FGM, a nicer word to describe the barbaric act of removing a young girl’s clitoris, usually using unsanitary instruments in poverty-stricken environments to remove the amount of sexual stimulation that can be experienced by the woman. “I was just 7 years old when I was cut,” said a Somalian woman who now resides in Britain. “The first thing I heard was my sister screaming. Then it was my turn. Four women held me down while they cut my clitoris. I felt every single cut. The pain was so intense -– I blacked out.”
Saudi Arabia is regarded as one of the most civilised and modern countries in the Middle East, but it’s hardly an equal society. Women are forbidden from leaving the house without a male guardian, who is also responsible for granting permission to the female for actions such as marriage, education, employment, and even opening a bank account. Women drivers are non-existent here as it is illegal. Gender segregation is also rife, with separate entrances acting as commonplace, and “No Women” signs a popular decoration. Oh, and if you’ve been raped, expect to be punished to the same, if not more, extent as the rapist.
In the predominantly Islamic State ruled region of Syria, slavery among women is an everyday sight. Christians, non-believers, and other enemies of the state are frequently kidnapped, sold, and bought at auction to be used as sex slaves, forced wives, and a variety of other abhorrent things. Among Islamic State’s many atrocities in the country, sex slavery is one of the worst, and most common, with a reported 31,000 women currently impregnated with Jihadi babies.
A girl screamed in agony last December whilst being caned under Sharia law. The crime? Being seen in “close proximity” to a boy in her university without being married to him. After five lashes, the girl collapsed and had to be taken to hospital. Hundreds of spectators turned up at the local mosque to witness the punishment and cheered throughout, with some holding up cameras to take pictures of the spectacle. Caning is a popular punishment issued for crimes like this under Sharia law.
Though India may not be in the Middle East, the country definitely shares a few characteristics. Honour killings and acid attacks are common occurrences in places, with the most recent honour killing resulting in a woman being burned alive. The culprits were her family, and it was for the crime of marrying a man outside her social class. Acid attacks, though illegal, are frequently used by men as revenge against women who have rejected marriage or sexual advances. 72% of reported acid attacks are against women.
So on International Women’s Day, I’d like to propose a toast to all of the privileged western feminists out there. Keep on fighting against the tyranny of mansplaining, and thank you for making the world a better place.
Charlie Nash is a frequent contributor to Breitbart Tech and former editor of the Squid Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington.