Islamic piety trumps health. “IRAQ: Male gynaecologists attacked by extremists,” from IRIN (thanks to Davida):
BAGHDAD, 13 November 2007 (IRIN) – Male gynaecologists are being targeted by Islamic extremists in Iraq as they are accused of invading the privacy of women. Women’s NGOs have raised concerns as there are few women gynaecologists in the country and their male counterparts are scared to continue working.
“Because of the extremists” religious views, doctors are scared to continue with their work and the number of women gynaecologists is very low and cannot meet the demand,” said Mayada Zuhair, spokeswoman for the Women” Rights Association (WRA).
“Extremists say that [male] doctors are not allowed to see the private parts of women and two male doctors were reportedly killed last week after leaving their clinics. A message was left near their bodies saying that was the end for any doctor who insists in invading the privacy of Muslim women,” Mayada added.
An Iraqi Medical Association (IMA) spokesman, Walid Rafi, told IRIN it knew of at least 22 male gynaecologists who had been sent threatening letters.
”Extremists say that [male] doctors are not allowed to see the private parts of women and two male doctors were reportedly killed last week after leaving their clinics.”
“In one case the extremists tried to carry out their threat. They kidnapped the son of a doctor and only released him after the doctor had closed his clinic in Karada district, in Baghdad,” Rafi said. “We are worried about women’s health in this country. Few of them have access to good medical care and now with the fear of male gynaecologists, few remain in the job and this could have a serious impact in the coming months.”