Thursday, March 10, 2005

Iraqi Women's Rights Coalition

/ iraq / women / no rights /
An Iraqi organisation for the protection of women's rights. They seem to have a lot of work ahead of them:

The need for these services?

In order to gain a broad perspective of the local scene, and a sense of the urgency to activate change towards the women’s cause in Iraqi Kurdistan, we refer to one recent statistical figure done in North of Iraq - Kurdistan
That could explain it all:

Within a population of 5 Million in Iraqi Kurdistan:
  • 4000 honor killings (1990-1999)

  • Hundreds of burnt women

  • Tens of honor driven mutilations against women

  • Thousands of circumcised (genitally mutilated) girls yearly till this present day

  • The organisation is less then impressed with the recent elections:

    The coming "parliament" will be nothing but a continuation of the last two years of administration by the Governing Council and the Interim Government. This means continued violation of women’s rights through compulsory wearing of the veil, allowing polygamy and pleasure marriage, turning a blind eye to the crime of honor killing (exonerating the perpetrators of these crimes) and implementing Islamic sharia which means active discrimination against women, violating their rights and depriving them even from those few rights they enjoyed under the Baath regime.

    The sentiment is shared by Iraqi writer, activist and former Saddam prisoner Haifa Zangana who points out their irrelevance:

    Behind the facade of post-election political process, despite Tony Blair's desire to move on and George Bush's attempt to mend fences with Europe, in Iraq the atrocities continue to mount. Some, like the Hilla attack, are Zarqawi-style, with hundreds dead and wounded. Others are more mundane and sustained, like US warplanes bombing suspect houses in Ramadi, Hit, or Mosul, roadblock killings in Najaff, or post-curfew hunting by snipers in Sammara.

    Despite all the rhetoric about "building a new democracy", daily life for most Iraqis is still a struggle for survival, with human rights abuses engulfing them. A typical Iraqi day begins with the struggle to get the basics: petrol, a cylinder of gas, fresh water, food and medication. It ends with a sigh of relief: Alhamdu ilah (thanks, God), for surviving death threats, violent attacks, kidnappings and killings.

    There's a pattern here... Another Women's group RAWA, from Afghanistan, which fought against the Taliban regime, is also unimpressed with developments under the American occupation.

    Well, no one said that the new colonialism would be pleasant...

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