What can you get for $10? In America, you can purchase birth control. In the regions controlled by ISIS, you can purchase a woman.
According to the United Nations, the Islamic State (ISIS) has imprisoned, abused, and sold at least 2,500 women and children for around $10 per person to recruit new militants to the Islamic State. ISIS has even set up shop in Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, to auction off abducted women.
Reports from community leaders reveal that ISIS is forcing women to convert and “marry” ISIS fighters, and rape has become a way to increase their ranks and promote the caliphate. In fact, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of Jordan, said: “The array of violations and abuses perpetrated by ISIL and associated armed groups is staggering, and many of their acts may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity.”
These women have been forced to watch as their homes are destroyed, their husbands, fathers, and brothers are beheaded, and their children are taken from them. With no time to grieve, the women are forced into a phony marriage (where they are repeatedly raped) or simply raped and cast aside. The ISIS militants know what they are doing — they want to build an Islamic State, and they need women and more recruits to help. As columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote: “They know that illiteracy, ignorance and oppression of women create the petri dish in which extremism can flourish.”
Instead of fighting for the rights of these women, The National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood, and other so called “advocates for women” have been silent on the issue. They have invested their political capital into continuing to promulgate a narrative that contains the word “war” but ignores the real war. These groups and liberal feminists have used the term “war on women” to describe companies not providing abortion-inducing drugs in their health care coverage, belittling the plight of Iraqi women who face actual war. War is bloody and brutal, and these women would know.
American women are being told by the left that they are victims of a fictional war when, in reality, American women are the freest in the world, not only being able to drive, vote, and represent themselves in court but run families and businesses. In fact, the United States has the highest proportion of women in senior management positions of any country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, was ranked eighth globally in gender equality by the World Economic Forum, and 46 percent of American firms are owned or co-owned by women. We must use our freedom to petition the government to come to the aid of the persecuted, and loudly condemn their assailants.
Planned Parenthood Global, which claims to “advocate for sound U.S. foreign policies that improve the sexual and reproductive health and well-being of individuals and families globally,” fails to even mention the threat ISIS plays to those women once on their website. In fact, search “ISIS” in the search query, and you’ll be redirected to “abortion and birth control.” Sigh.
And the National Organization for Women, which also spends millions of dollars accusing conservatives of limiting access to birth control and asking for money from donors to end the “war on women”, fails to mention the killings of thousands of women in their statements on global feminism, where they instead openly criticize the United States and report on “the failure of the U.S. to confirm its laws and policies to promote equality for women.”
Maybe Katie Mahoney got it right when she said, “Perhaps if ISIS had just denied Iraqi women contraceptives or abortion-inducing drugs instead of raping and brutalizing them, the National Organization for Women might be more inclined to speak out and become engaged.”
To put to bed all claims of victimization, let’s collectively realize that American women already have access to affordable contraception at Walmart and Target. Both provide a month’s supply of birth control for under $10. The Hobby Lobby case didn’t even include birth control pills — it centered on just four out of twenty drugs.
Obamacare’s contraception mandate is about the heavy hand of government on non-profits and businesses. Rational people can certainly disagree on this point. However, rational people should be able to differentiate between policy differences and issues that deserve global outrage. The president and his administration’s ability to easily mouth “war on women” while hesitating to ever declare “war on ISIS” is a failure of epic proportions.
It is women’s groups like Concerned Women for America, Susan B. Anthony List, and female leaders like Carly Fiorina that continue to kindly plead that Liberal women put their name calling torches down and join us as we work to combat the real war on women. It is time they use their influence and political capital instead of petulantly demanding free stuff. While liberal women in the United States are demanding someone else pay for their birth control, in regions controlled by ISIS, women just want to be free. Please, let’s join hands against the real “War on Women.”
Penny Nance is CEO and President of Concerned Women for America. Find out more at concernedwomen.org.