March 8, 2005 Special Dispatch No. 875

International Women's Day Special – MEMRI TV Monitor Project on Women's Issues

March 8, 2005
Special Dispatch No. 875

Today is "International Women's Day," a day to mark the social, economic, and political achievements of women. As part of The MEMRI TV Monitor Project, the situation of women in the Arab and Muslim world has received considerable attention. To view a special page devoted to a collection of MEMRI TV clips on women's issues, visit

The Treatment of Women in Society

The subjects included in this review range from discussions on women's treatment in society to their involvement in politics. One example is the debate over female genital mutilation. [1] Recently, in Djibouti, on February 4, 2005, a convention turned into a battleground between clerics and women's rights activists in the Somali government when recommendations included a clause stating that female genital mutilation as practiced today is a human rights violation, contrary to prior agreements between the parties to permit it in the presence of a specialist doctor. The women activists, supported by EU parliament member Emma Bonino, are seen celebrating what they considered a victory (see link to clip in footnote). To view a nine minute compilation of segments dealing with women's issues in the Arab world, visit


As part of MEMRI's International Women's Day commemoration, MEMRI has specifically focused on the debate about wife-beating on Arab television. This issue is constantly being discussed on Arab TV channels by women's rights activists, Muslim clerics, and intellectuals. To view a 13 minute version of segments from interviews and discussions on wife-beating since March 2004, visit

The following are individual segments from Arab TV on the issue:

Clip No. 556 - Al-Azhar Sheik Farhat Al-Munji Explains Wife-Beating in Islam No. 509 - Discussion on Wife-Beating: Ten Toothpick Blows Do Not Cause Much Pain No. 455 - A Discussion on Wife Beating in Islam No. 443 - Saudi Cleric Sliman Al-Odeh on How and Why Prophet Muhammad Beat His Wife No. 440 - Egyptian TV Discussion on Wife Beating No. 392 - Sheik Al-Qaradhawi: Wife Beating Yes, Homosexuality No No. 287 - Debate on Wife Beating on Qatar TV No. 265 - Egyptian Cleric Yousuf Al-Badri on Wife-Beating and Women's Role in Islam No. 264 - Egyptian Al-Azhar Professor Sabri Abd Al-Rauf Explains Wife-Beating in Islam No. 226 - Sermon on Qatar TV: With Some Women, Life is Impossible Unless You Carry a Rod No. 184 - Battered Saudi TV Host and Abusive Husband's Televised Interviews No. 173 - Sheik Abd Al-Hamid Al-Muhajir Explains Wife-Beating in Islam No. 102 - Al-Azhar Sheikh, Muhammad Al-Mussayyer, on Wife-Beating in Islam



[1] For more on the issue of female genital mutilation, see: Clip #546 - Debate on Female Genital Mutilation in Djibouti,, Clip #257 - Sudanese Liberals Discuss Feminism and Female Genital Mutilation, and Clip #217 - Dubai Government Official: Female Genital Mutilation of Daughters is Optional from the Religious Point of View,

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