I noticed an item in the media that two female volunteers were tortured and murdered in Pakistan because they were administering polio vaccinations to children. The report said that the Taliban stated that it was “unislamic” to vaccinate children. A few months ago a Ghanaian doctor at a hospital in Karachi was shot dead for similar reasons.
In Afghanistan, apart from attacks on health workers, women are unable to run any form of business without threats by the Taliban and need constant bodyguards. One older lady who ran a bakery in Kunduz that employed only women, swore that she would not give in, but soon was forced to flee. Now men work in the bakery and keep guard on it too. You might think that because the Taliban no longer control Kunduz or Afghanistan that this is only a problem of the extremists, but interviews with men on the street (women are fully covered in burkas and cannot talk to strange people) showed that most of them agree that according to the Koran women should not be allowed to run businesses. Note also that in Afghanistan, after the supposed defeat of the Taliban, schools for girls are regularly fire bombed and female teachers are regularly murdered.
This is not only a problem for those supposedly backward societies, but these kind of attitudes permeate all Muslim societies, with only a few allowing “westernization” or “modernization.” Saudi Arabian schools and universities are completely gender segregated, with only teachers of the same gender allowed, or they can teach via remote media. Even in supposedly secular societies, such as Turkey, the current trend is back to Islam rather than accept foreign western influences. I am always amused by the TV ads for Doha and Dubai that show them as so modern, yet away from the cameras the same restrictions on women apply. It is a traditional part of Islamic culture to keep women in their place, under control. They are about 100 years at least behind the West and they are losing the incredibly valuable input of half their population. It keeps their societies more violent, less civilized and backward. Why don’t the liberals of the BDS movement campaign about this?