IRAQ: Husband and wife, Iraqi style

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Iraqi women are rarely seen in public and, on the surface, would appear to play no role in shaping local politics and society. But the U.S. military is finding that the role of women is not that easily dismissed.

Ala Thabit Fattah, whose wife accompanied their 2-year-old daughter to the United States so the child could receive heart surgery, tried to explain to a group of Marines the role of women in his country.

‘In Iraq,’ he said, ‘we say the wife is the government — she controls the house. They plan the road and we walk it.’

— Tony Perry, in Haditha