Iraqi Women's Movement, Iraq
July 16, 2005
To all International Parliaments and Organizations,
To the United Nations,
To all International Women's Organisations
The Iraqi women's movement expresses its deepest concern and worry about the drafts lately released by the Constitutional Committee, specifically in the Chapter of Duties & Rights, in which the Shari'a law was clearly stated as the main source for legislation in the new Iraq Constitution.
These drafts stated:
- The state acknowledges the equal rights of women with men in all fields, on the condition that it doesn't contradict with Shari'a Law.
- Personal Status law is to be legislated according to personal religions and sects (which is exactly as was stated in the order 137 of the Iraqi Governing Council, that our movement fought against and managed to abolish).
- The quota for women, of 25% in all decision making places, was specified only to be followed for the next two elections' phases. It was put under Transitional Laws Chapter and not in the Chapter of Duties and Rights, which can jeopardize the quota for women status.
- All international laws are acknowledged, as long as they don't contradict the Islamic Shari'a Law.
The movement emphasizes that it's been unprecedented to hurry the writing of such an important and dangerous document that will determine the future of the Iraqis, without involving the Iraqi civil society in the preparation and writing process.
Itís been decided that within ten days the Drafting Committee will accomplish it's work and will be ready on August 15 as the dead line for publishing the final version.
Lately, the Iraqi women movement has prepared a memorandum that states their demands on the following main points:
- To recognize women's human rights as mother, worker and citizen.
- To prevent all kind of violence and discrimination against women.
- To ensure the quota of not less than 40 percent for women in all decision making positions.
- To recognize the international conventions and documents that Iraq has signed and ratified to be source for the Iraqi legislation and regulations.
This appeal is urging you to lobby for our cause with the Iraqi National Assembly and the Constitutional Committee. We appreciate any action to support our demands to get a civic constitution that secure the rights and liberties of all Iraqi people and especially for women without discrimination and will lay down the basis for democracy, social peace and justice.
From Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML), July 16, 2005.