Monday, August 08, 2005

Iraq Women's Rights: Protest in Baghdad Tuesday, Aug 9th


Iraq the Model reporting the women in Iraq are staging another protest against Shari'a law in Baghdad:

Just heard this piece of confirmed news:

On Tuesday, August 9, there will be another protest against the inclusion of Shareat laws in the constitution and to demand full rights for Iraqi women.
The protest will be organized by the "Iraqi Women Gathering" and the invitation is open to all women and men who want to defend the rights of women in the new Iraq.

The protest will take place in Al-Firdaws SQ in Baghdad at 10 am Tuesday morning and there will be nationwide simultaneous protests in the rest of Iraqi provinces.


Stay tuned for updates.

Updates

Iraq the Model has a report on the protest

met some of the activists who talked enthusiastically about plans for more protests and conventions to show their disapproval of the constitution's draft because they're afraid that religion might hijack the constitution and deprive them of their rights.

I've also noticed that signs that required two to hold were held by a male and a female in a sign of equality; I liked the idea![snip]

We were talking and discussing related issues when a black cloud began moving toward the square.


It was the Islamist organizations, well organized and ready to counter protest. Women in black abayas showed up, demanding Islam as the base of law. According to Mohammed, they were out numbered 3 to 1 by the liberal feminist group, but the media still ran over to interview them. We're looking for news coverage in the media since there were cameras to see which groups they focused on the most or if they gave equal coverage.

See more pictures at Iraq the Model

Update 2

From Winds of Change, New York Times (requires simple registration) covers Iraq women's concerns about Shari'a in the consitution and how laws will be implemented.

The family law "is based on Shariah," she said. But because the rules have been unified in civil statutes to be administered by the state, Ms. Edwar said, "there is one court."

"So it means the state law is going to be judged by the state," rather than by an unpredictable collection of separate religious courts, she said. "This is very essential for us."[snip]

Of greatest concern to the women's groups, though, is an article in a draft of Chapter 2, which covers human rights, that was handed out last week at a news conference led by Sheik Humam Hamoudi, chairman of the constitutional committee. That is the article that would guarantee the followers of any particular sect the freedom to abide, essentially, by their own family laws.

Ms. Edwar said the provision could effectively oblige women to become subject to the narrow religious rulings of whichever cleric happens to be in charge of her local sect. "This will be really very forceful for the women to be under the man," she said, speaking in English.

With four main Sunni sects and countless Shiite sects and subsects, each with slightly different rulings, "there will be chaos," said Amal al-Qadi, a Sunni who is a member of the Iraqi Islamic Party. And in that chaos, she contends, religious courts and the male heads of families will end up making rulings affecting women that now fall to the civil courts.


You can help. Go to Iraq Women Need You! and find out about writing letters or donating to the specific organizations.

Update 3

The AP covers the demonstration:

The liberalists were passing out leaflets and waving banners before they were met by the convervatives, who responded by wielding their own banners and calling for the inclusion of Islamic law in the constitution.

The counterdemonstrators were not allowed to enter the square, and marched separately.

The lobbying by both groups comes just ahead of an August 15 deadline for completion of the final draft of Iraq's new constitution.

"We want the constitutional drafting committee to hear our voices," said Environment Minister Narmine Othman, associated with the liberal group. "We fear that some articles will be unjust for women."

The women handed out flyers calling for 40 percent female participation "in all decision making positions," as well as a letter addressed to the country's political leaders stating their views.

They also wrote to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan asking him to play "a bigger role in Iraq's constitutional process."


Read the rest.

4 comments:

Scott from Oregon said...

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Kat said...

Dude..what does that have to do with women's rights in Iraq?

Scott from Oregon said...

Nuttin'.....

I lost my second comment, explaining the first, then hunger called and I paid attention....


It has got to be frustrating for our glorious policy makers to have to rely on Iraqis for fulfilling their own destinies.... Sure seems to me that the US has done all it could, and the onus is squarely on the shoulders of a pretty fucked up society. If the US deevolved in parts to resemble the backward mindset of many Iraqis, I would have a hard time keeping my gun in my closet.....


Pow pow pow!!!

Leap Frog said...

Thanks Kat, this is too important to not do all we can.

Ok ladies, lets do it as we know no one else will.