At this point we can all agree that the sloppily-violent current situation in Iraq is such a Sisyphusean, multifaceted mess that it's hard to know which way is up — which decisions have positive effects, who's winning in this scenario and who's losing. What's clear is that across the board women are not doing so hot. In an effort to keep the peace against insurgents, Newsweek writes, the U.S. ground commanders have given a great deal of power to sheiks and other local leaders, particularly in the insurgent-heavy Sunni south. "Now Iraq's Sunni areas have been chopped into fragments, each one run by a different tribal ruler with different views on law and society," and many of those rulers are placing stringent controls on female liberties.
"Each has its own bizarre rules; some threaten to kill women who don't wear veils in public," reports Newsweek. A shop assistant whose brother was killed last year is "asking for trouble if she wears black more than three days running. According to the new enforcers in her neighborhood, anyone who dresses in mourning is committing blasphemy by questioning the will of God."
It's polygamy Monday here at Jezebel because apparently forced polygamy is allegedly on the rise under the rule of some of the local leaders in Iraq. Adds Newsweek, "In Anbar's provincial capital, Ramadi, where tribal troops allow women to work but not to go without headscarves...Women rarely venture out of their homes now."