Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 12, 2006

"Where Are the Iraqi Women?"

Kathryn Westcott reports to BBC News Online that, as Iraq is beginning to “establish an interim government that reflects the country’s diverse ethnic and religious character,” the question of “where are the women – who make up the majority of the population – in this process?”

Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told BBC that, “if there’s an area where I feel thus far we’ve fallen short, it is in the representation of women.” So far, Westcott reports, “there have been two meeting aimed at forging a constitutional future for the country, but out of more than 250 delegates, only six were women.”

Elisabeth Rehn, independent author of an extensive report for the United Nations, Women, War and Peace, says that, “the issue needs to be addressed urgently because choices are already beginning to be made about who will be elected to official bodies.” Ms. Rehn says that “the UK government is trying to get women involved, but one of the real difficulties is that among the Iraqi exile groups, the participation of women is not seen as a primary issue.”

Westcott reports that “both the US and UK Governments have said they are committed to getting more women involved.”

To read this article in full click here.


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