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The struggle for equality continues

By: Editorial March 11,2015 - 12:11 AM

A video clip on  YouTube in which Lebanese TV host Rima Karaki is shown shutting down a Muslim scholar during an interview captures  the  challenges of gender equality faced by women around the world.

Karaki and her guest, London-based Sheikh Hani Al Sibai, got into an argument after Al Sibal gave a long-winded discussion on the extremist group ISIS and how it has supposedly drawn even Christians to join their ranks.

To those who watched the video, Karaki is shown asking Al Sibal to get back to the topic.  Al Sibal was seen and heard telling her to “shut up” and let him finish.

An argument ensued and when Al Sibal told her that it was “beneath him to be interviewed by her” Karaki cut off the voice feed and said “either there is mutual respect or the conversation is over.”

The video was translated by Memri (Middle East Media Research Institute) TV and according to Yahoo!, gained 2.8 million views and drew support for Karaki from social media with Twitter users calling her “courageous and “a boss.”

Though Memri TV or Memri in general has drawn criticism for its biased coverage of news programs concerning Arab states in the Middle East, the Karaki video sadly reflects the prevalent belief among outsiders that Islam holds a low opinion of and derogatory view of women.

One, of course, could argue to the contrary and point to Peace Adviser Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles and government peace panel chairperson Miriam Coronel-Ferrer as examples of women who managed to deal directly with the leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) whose own panel is composed of male Muslim leaders as an example that women have come a long way in  being able to hold the reins of government.

This country had two female presidents—one who inspired a revolution, the other  successfully fended off a revolution but is now ironically, being represented by a female rights lawyer despite being accused of many human rights violations.

And there may be  two more potential female presidentiables next year.

In Cebu City, there’s a lot of eager speculation about  a potential female mayoral aspirant who may run with another female official.

For  every setback, there are more gains on the ground for women who continue to mark March as International Women’s Month and March 8 as Women’s Day.

The struggle continues.

The light continues to shine and offer hope for a world made better with the participation of women in decision-making  at all levels.

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