Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kurdish women seek greater rights in new personal status law

Kurdish women are up in arms over proposed legislation on marriage and inheritance that they fear could have too much of a basis in Islam, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting reported Tuesday.

The new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) personal status law would replace a 1959 Iraqi law lauded as progressive at the time for its restrictions on polygamy and child marriage.

According to the article, a government advisory committee said in April that it would be recommending that Islam “be the sole source of legislation for the [new] personal status law.” This prompted anger among women’s rights advocates who, while agreeing that the old law is outdated, want the new law to ban polygamy and child marriage and provide women with equal inheritance rights.

Over 40 Kurdish women’s rights activists have sent a memorandum to the region’s parliament “demanding that the new law promotes women’s rights,” the article notes. Activists have also successfully pressured the KRG into adding five women to the previously all-male advisory committee.

For the full article, click here.


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