Quotes: 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 i 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."


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Sep 25 2016 - RasGas awarded five-star rating byMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) RasGas Company Limited (RasGas) has been awarded a five-star rating by the British Safety Council subsequent to an Environmental Audit, and the Occupational Health and Safety Audit. ...

 Sep 25 2016 - An Alliance with Microsoft, Tigo Business, Lenovo and Zepto marks ITWORX’s expansion into AfricaMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) As the first of a series of strategic initiatives that aims to expand the company’s operations into Africa, ITWORX has partnered with Microsoft, Tigo Business, Lenovo, and Zepto to ...

 Sep 25 2016 - ITWORX Education calls for “Children in Distress: Back to School”MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Sharing his vision in addressing educational challenges facing Syrian refugee children, Hatem Sallam, CEO of ITWORX Education, led a special presentation titled “Children in Distress: ...

 Sep 25 2016 - Drama series dominated Arabic series productions in 2016MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) A new report from the Arab Advisors Group profiles 24 production houses in five Arab countries. The report analyzed 97 series produced in 2015 and the first seven months of 2016. ...

 Sep 25 2016 - Adoption of New Technologies Can Boost Regional Oil & Gas Sector in Face of Global CompetitionMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Adoption of new technologies can boost the region’s energy sector in output and competitiveness at a time of reduced oil prices and global competition from new suppliers, according to ...

 Sep 25 2016 - Arab League Secretary-General meets UN Yemen EnvoyEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) CAIRO, 25th September, 2016 (WAM) -- Dr. Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, Arab League Secretary-General, has met with Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the UN Secretary-General's ...

 Sep 25 2016 - UAE- Yemeni Ambassador offers condolences to family of martyr Saeed Al FalasiEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DUBAI, 25th September, 2016 (WAM) -- Fahad Saeed Al Menhali, Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen, has visited the family of nation's martyr, Saeed Anbar Al ...

 Sep 25 2016 - UAE supports WFP in fighting hunger in YemenEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) NEW YORK, 25th September, 2016 (WAM) -- The United Nations World Food Programme, WFP, has welcomed a contribution of US$6 million from the UAE to provide ...

 Sep 25 2016 - UAE's most inspirational educators to be honoured at Qudwa Teachers' ForumEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) ABU DHABI, 25th September, 2016 (WAM) -- The Ministry of Education, MoE, and Abu Dhabi Education Council, ADEC, have announced that the Qudwa Teachers' ...

 Sep 25 2016 - UAE- EGA announced as Platinum Sponsor of Metal Bulletin International Aluminium ConferenceEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) ABU DHABI, 25th September, 2016 (WAM) -- The Emirates Global Aluminium, EGA, has announced that it is the Platinum Sponsor of the 31st edition of the Metal ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

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

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

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
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


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


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help