by Azra Naseem
For a place where all things pig is a big ‘Haraam, haraam’, the Maldives seems to be breeding a shocking amount of male chauvinistic pigs these days. Their numbers and presence have increased markedly since the coup on 7 February.
Maldivian women became a bold and vital part of the pro-democracy protests led by MDP, and has presented some very difficult problems for movers and shakers in the new regime:
- Religious extremists see it as a kick in the teeth of their long campaign to turn Maldivian women into ‘submissive maidens of abject modesty’;
- Coup-leaders see a very vocal and visible loss of support;
- It is harder to find international support for a regime that brutalises women – they have to be removed from the frontlines of protests. All the easier to shoot, gas and violate the rest.
Hence a very public campaign to ridicule women who join politics by painting them as brainless harlots and MDP whores.