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Opinion

Global human rights advocates condemn 'war on women' first-world problems

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Abortion-on-demand, free birth control, the word “bossy” — these are things American so-called feminists regard as the civil rights movement of our time. But if you step back from the world of outrage, get some perspective and see what women in other parts of the world face, you’ll see that those issues are more like first-world problems.

Manda Zand Ervin, an Iranian political refugee who founded the Alliance of Iranian Women, said she was “ashamed” of what women in America complain about when there are such greater risks to women in other countries.

“I mean, when I sit here and watch television and a bunch of women are screaming and yelling in front of the Supreme Court for free birth control pills - $9 a month - I feel ashamed,” Zand Ervin told the Washington Examiner. “I'm so embarrassed.”

Zand Ervin noted that millions of women in the Middle East and North Africa “live under slavery, live as a property of the man.”

Jaha Dukureh, a survivor of female genital mutilation, voiced similar concerns, telling the Examiner that while she thinks the complaints of women in America are “still valid,” the issues facing women in other parts of the world are things “American women can't even imagine.”

“When your husband abused you and even tried to kill you, and when you go to the police they tell you that, ‘I can’t get involved because it’s a family matter,’ ” Dukureh said. “You have those issues in most countries and you have women being killed for committing adultery.”

“When you have premarital sex in my family, they’ll probably kill you,” Dukureh continued. “Like the stuff that they complain about, not that that justifies anything but it’s just as they — we go through more than [them] — that’s how I feel. We go through a lot more than they can ever imagine.”

So why don’t women in America focus on equality and freedom for women outside the U.S.? Some human rights advocates say fear and political correctness play a large part.

“I think what happens is that they're afraid to speak up or speak in simply because of the controversy and backlash,” Zainab Khan, a clinical therapist who has counseled domestic abuse victims, told the Examiner.

“It’s a universal human race issue,” Khan continued. “I think that we should make it where it is — it’s an invitation — it’s a platform for all feminists to get on board and address these challenges and these laws that are implemented that hinder women and actually condone violence against women.”

Raheel Raza, a Muslim-Canadian journalist and human rights advocate, told the Examiner that women in America need to “get over” their political correctness and help women in the rest of the world.

“Get real,” Raza said. “These are issues which are global. They used to happen in your countries as well before you got this freedom, so in solidarity with other women, drop the political correctness and join hands with us to bring about change.”

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