Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Kurdish women facing obstacles to higher political standing

Four months ago, 30 female members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) submitted a proposal to the Kurdistan parliament that would make it mandatory for political parties to allocate 25 percent of their leadership positions to women, according to the Institute for War & Peace Reporting.

The two dominant parties of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the PUK have both rallied for women to have equal constitutional rights. However neither party has a large percentage of women represented in higher positions. Still, members say they recognize the need for female leaders. Emad Ahmed, a member of the PUK’s 15-member politburo stated that, “As a socialist, democratic party, we have thought about the fact that we need to promote women politicians within our party. The situation is upsetting.”

Kurdish women within the parties attribute their inability to break the glass ceiling to deep-seated societal traditions. A female member of the KDP, Pakhashan Zangana said that politics is still considered the domain of men in northern Iraq. Mihabad Qaradakhi added, “Women being involved in politics in Kurdistan is considered shameful for her family, because the patriarchal mentality is dominant.”

For the full article, click here.


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