Mar 08, 2021
Statement of Iraqi CSOs on the Occasion of March 8th

Statement of Iraqi CSOs on the Occasion of March 8th

Iraqi women are citizens with dignity and equal rights as men

Civil Society Organizations extend their warmest felicitations to Iraqi women, in particular, and women of the world in general, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8th of every year. This day symbolizes women’s continuous global struggle to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against them, in order to achieve comprehensive equality in rights and opportunities between men and women in all domains.

In present-day Iraq, there is an upsurge in the systematic practices that aim at excluding women and marginalizing their role in the public sphere and in decision-making posts. There is also an increase in the diverse manifestations of domestic and sexual violence, which crushes women’s dignity and prevents them from enjoying their human rights as citizens. This is due to the dominance of the male culture, masculine mentality, and tribal norms, as well as the weakness of protection mechanisms and law enforcement institutions, and the deterioration of the socio-political, security, and health crises. Add to all of the above widespread poverty, illiteracy, and rampant corruption.

Bolstering the role that women play in draining the sources of terrorism and extremism, in addition to achieving stability, security, peace, development and social justice – as stipulated by the Constitution and Iraq’s international commitments – requires a national vision and political willpower that can work to accomplish the following:

● Legislating the domestic violence law, which has become a pressing necessity in light of increased domestic violence crimes that threaten the security and safety of both the family and society.

● Despite issuing Diwani Order number 336 on 8/12/2020 to form the national council for women’s affairs, the council remained without any tangible activity on the ground, as neither human resources nor funds were allocated for it within the federal budget. Thus, we call for re-examining the council’s formation and powers, and for allowing wider and more effective participation of female representatives from the three branches of power along with representatives of CSOs, working in accordance with a comprehensive national vision for limiting violence and discrimination against women, and executing the national action plan for resolution 1325.

● Women must be represented in the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights at a rate of no less than one-third of the council’s members, in accordance with Article 8 / IV of Commission Law No. 53 / 2008, and in compliance with Federal Supreme Court Decision No. 42 / Federal / 2012. Moreover, selecting qualified personnel with experience in the field of human rights, away from sectarian and partisan quotas, and respecting the independence of the commission and its law.

● Fashioning the adequate environment and circumstances that guarantee the complete, free, and secure participation of women, on an equal footing with men, in political and public life, especially in the upcoming elections.

May glory and immortality be for the women martyred in the struggle to achieve a state of citizenship and social justice.

Baghdad, May 7th, 2021