Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Iraqi consitution neglects women's rights

The systematic erosion of Iraqi women’s rights is apparent in the new constitution, which supersedes considerable advances for women’s equality in areas such as divorce and inheritance stipulated in the 1958 Family Code, the Observer reported. Instead, clerics and new religious courts take precedence in deciding such matters resulting in significant discrimination against women.

The new constitution is symptomatic of wider transformations taking place in a once secular society in which women “held high office and worked as professors, doctors, engineers and economists- into one where women have forced back under the veil and into the home”, the Observer reports. Women’s full status as citizens has deteriorated as their bodies are used as weapons in the sectarian war. Women are beaten, raped, and murdered in order to tear apart families and communities from the opposite sect.

In the absence of an established rule of law to guarantee women’s rights, there has been a revitalization of fundamentalist beliefs and practices. Women are forced to submit to the authority of radical militias, which forbid them from working, pursuing their education and taking part in public life in general. Those women who refuse to comply are punished by kidnappings, beatings, rape and murder. Witnesses claim that members of the militias are often linked to police forces, and the sheer level of violence makes the constant danger to women’s lives undeniable. However, public officials have yet to take measures to stop brutalities against women, in many cases, impeding investigation into these crimes and withholding information.

For full story, click here.


Post a Comment

<< Home