Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Female candidates fight for rights in Iraq campaign  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 20/04/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) With fears that women's rights are being eroded in Iraq, prospective female lawmakers are determined to push women's issues to the fore of campaigning for this month's elections.

Despite a constitutional requirement that a quarter of all MPs be women, Iraq lags on key indicators such as female employment and literacy, and there is a bill before parliament that opponents say dramatically curtails women's rights.

Also at issue ahead of April 30 elections are high levels of violence against women, discrimination at the workplace, and poor school attendance.

"I did not expect that we will fight for women's rights in this country," said Inam Abdul Majed, a television news presenter and an election hopeful running in Baghdad.

"I wanted to fight for better education, better services, better life conditions... But we are in this big trouble now, and it is a primary problem to be solved."

Decades ago, Iraq was seen as the most progressive country in the Middle East for women, but now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein rolled back many of those advances in the 1990s, and the rampant bloodshed that followed his ouster in 2003 has led to further restrictions.

Now, more than a quarter of women over the age of 12 are illiterate and only 85 girls attend secondary school for every 100 boys, according to a May 2013 UN fact sheet.

Among the most troubling indicators is the fact that only 14 percent of Iraqi women are either working or actively seeking employment.

"It's a serious issue, because it affects women's financial independence and, without financial independence, women have very few choices in their lives," said Frances Guy, the Iraq representative for UN Women.

According to analysts and would-be lawmakers, the near-daily violence that plagues much of Iraq is largely to blame, but other key factors such as domestic abuse, workplace discrimination and problems with the education system are also crucial.

More than half of women aged 15-49 believe that a husband has the right to hit his wife in certain instances, but violence against women also occurs at markets, on the street and while using transportation.

Key to changing the situation, UN Women notes, is altering male perceptions in a country where nearly half believe they are justified in preventing their wives from working, and around half say they have a right to beat their wives in some circumstances.

Potentially making matters worse is a bill before parliament that regulates personal status among Iraq's majority Shiite community, which critics say would mark a dramatic step backward for women's rights.

The potential law -- which analysts have dismissed as politicking ahead of elections -- would allow girls to marry before the age of nine and require a wife to have sex with her husband whenever he demands it, along with a litany of other restrictions.

-- Virtual absence from cabinet --

In an effort to ensure women receive a guaranteed level of representation in parliament, Iraq's constitution requires that a quarter of all lawmakers be female.

No such requirement is enforced on the government, however, and all of Iraq's 31 cabinet-level positions are held by men, with the sole exception of the minister of state for women's affairs.

The number of women cabinet members has declined from previous governments, according to Intisar al-Juburi, a female lawmaker from the northern province of Nineveh.

"If we look at election programmes put forward by the parties and political blocs, we see that they have focused on women's rights," she said.

"But when male MPs win a seat in the election, they forget about women or their programme for women."

At a recent forum debating women's issues ahead of the election, hosted by outgoing MP Safia al-Suhail, several speakers criticised the performance of female lawmakers and suggested that the parliamentary quota is having a negative impact by pushing unqualified politicians into positions of power.

Most, however, noted that it remained necessary in what is still a male-dominated society.

"Although the quota has many negative sides to it ... it is more positive than negative," said Maysoon al-Damaluji, an MP from Baghdad who is campaigning for re-election.

"At least it has introduced women to political life, and made them a reality within the political life."

As for the quality of candidates, Damaluji said: "Yes ... but also, were the men as good as they should have been?"

"I think you will find that most people agree that neither men nor women were up to the responsibility."


 






  MENA News Headlines
 Aug 30 2014 - JSB Market Research Consumer Trends Analysis Understanding Consumer Trends and Drivers of Behavior in the US Prepared Meals MarketMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Understanding Consumer Trends and Drivers of Behavior in the US Prepared Meals Market provides an overview of the market, analyzing market data, demographic consumption patterns within ...

 Aug 30 2014 - The Diabetes Protocol ReviewCan Dr.Pullmans Treatment Really Reverse DiabetesMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Read this honest review of Dr. Pullman's eBook and reveal how effective is this diabetes treatment. Additionally find out if this will be a risk investment or not? Here is the good ...

 Aug 30 2014 - Ronn LucasVentriloquism Fun Facts Weekly SpecialMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Celebrity Dummies serves as the largest seller of ventriloquist dummies in the area of Tampa FL nowadays. The company is well known in the different parts of the country at the ...

 Aug 30 2014 - Micronized Chlorella 038 BiorayHelping Kids Reach Their Full Potential!MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Environmental hazards may operate to harm a developmentally dynamic child by mechanisms that do not operate in the adult.— World Health OrganizationPound for pound kids absorb more ...

 Aug 29 2014 - Swaziland is moving towards commercial farmingEU-FAO backed government initiative has put thousands of farmers on a new trackMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) ROME Italy August 27 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- In a major effort to revitalize agriculture here the government the European Union and FAO have helped over 20000 ...

 Aug 29 2014 - Brick by brick the foundation of a global recession is taking holdSteve Picarillo warns additional poor economic news is forthcomingMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) While of late I lean towards being a "pessimistic academic economist" I believe the global economy is extremely fragile and weak I expect that additional negative economic news will ...

 Aug 29 2014 - GNEX 2015 Confirms Event Onboard USS Midway In San DiegoMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) The Global Networking Expo also known as the GNEX Conference is an exciting event for the timeshare industry that has reimagined the typical convention format into a sharp ...

 Aug 29 2014 - Yahoo Stores Is Launched A Reboot Of E-Commerce PlatformMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Just recently Yahoo has announced its introduction of Yahoo Stores which is a revamp of its e-commerce program. The well known internet platform is constantly attempting to boost ...

 Aug 29 2014 - Limo VIP Offering Limousine Service In The Montreal AreaMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Limo VIP'Limo VIP' is now offering limousine services to clients in Montreal area. The company provides an easy pick and drop service to the clients from and to hotels restaurants ...

 Aug 29 2014 - Google Releases News Publisher Center To Simplify The ProcessMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Up until a few weeks ago getting a site listed in Google News has been a very difficult process for many people. The process of getting listed in Google News seemed to have fuzzy ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help