Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Broken pension promises for Iraqi widows

Iraqi widows – their husbands lost over the course of years of conflict dating back to the Iran-Iraq war – were promised pension payments by the Iraqi government that have proven to be erratic and unreliable, The L.A. Times reported Tuesday.

Iraqi widows, with registered numbers of over 84,000, have been provided with little to no pension money. According to the article, “a widow without children is supposed to get about $34 a month; and a widow with five or more children, about $81 a month.” The rising number of widows has created a strain on government spending. Widows have now taken to protesting the lack of funding, with demonstrations taking place in all 18 provinces.

However, some measures are being considered to provide additional assistance to the widow population. New legislation has been introduced by Samira Musawi, a member of parliament, which if passed would, according to the article, “provide housing, education and job training for widows and other low-income women.” Also, the U.S. military and State Department have begun interviewing widows to assess their needs and concerns. “The treatment of widows ranks high among the list of things the U.S. military wants to lobby the Baghdad government about to help Anbar province,” the Times says.

For the full article, click here.


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