A Persian Cafe, Edward Lord Weeks

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Step by step...

...gender equality progresses.
Kurdish defenders have victory in their sights. After exactly a month of fighting, they say they have driven Islamic State from most of the city.
But from a hilltop across the border in Turkey, it is clear there is still fighting going on, particularly in the north of the city. Small and heavy arms fire can be heard, as well as occasional explosions. There have also been several air strikes this afternoon by the US-led coalition.
One 32-year-old Kurdish militia commander, who leads the fighting in the east of the city, told me she hoped the city would be "fully liberated" very soon.
(from a BBC article on the war currently going on between ISIS and the Kurds).

Notice that little word in the final paragraph: "she". At almost any time before now, the idea of a woman leading an army (with certain rare and very charismatic exceptions) would either have been laughed at or would have called to the mind the Amazon stereotype. Instead, women of ability are able to lead armies, and to be taken seriously. Perhaps The Onion laughs at this kind of thing, but I view it as a genuine step towards genuine sexual equality.

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