By Paul Cooper,

Muslim women and girls are an endangered species in some parts of the Islamic world. Females are seen by some Muslim men as weak, beneath men, sex slaves, and targets for violence. And now a United Nations-funded advertisement supposedly meant to help Palestinian women gain better treatment is actually continuing the message that women have no real value.

Palestinian Media Watch has revealed a public service ad that has been playing in Palestinian regions since the end of October that shows a man not caring about the well-being of his wife and unborn daughter. The commercial is made by The Palestinian Association for Family Planning and Protection and it was funded by the MDG Achievement Fund, a UN program funded by a grant from the Spanish government. [See video: httpv://

The commercial portrays a pregnant woman in need of a trip to the hospital. Her jerk husband won’t take her because he’s too busy watching television, and besides, she’s only having another daughter.

Here is part of the transcript:

Wife (grimacing): “Take me now!”
Husband: “Allah will help you. Hold on a bit more. What are we hurrying for, for a fifth girl?”
The wife collapses and falls over on bed.

In the hospital:
Husband: “Doctor, what’s happening?”
Doctor: “Allah willing, it’ll be fine. Your delay in getting to the hospital affected the health of the mother and baby. Thanks to Allah, we were able to save the mother, but we weren’t able to save the baby. May Allah compensate you with another child.”
Husband: “Bless you, doctor. It’s not so bad, she has four more sisters.”
Doctor: “She has four sisters? But the baby was a boy!”
Husband (with shocked expression): “A boy?”

So the point of the commercial is that husbands should be nice to their pregnant wives just in case they are having a boy instead of one of those worthless girls. Do the Palestinian non-government organization that made this ad and the United Nations not realize how degrading this commercial is? Pregnant women and their babies should only be protected since the baby might be a boy? How exactly does that give women gender equality?

PalWatch reports that PA TV is under the direct control of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. You would think Muslim women in the area would be offended by their government pushing such a commercial. But when you consider that 70% of Palestinian women think being slapped, shoved, and struck by their husbands is not domestic violence, you realize that many Arab women are clueless about how messed up the men in their lives are.

Paul Cooper is a husband and father, with a wife and two daughters.

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