Iraqi homes are still witnessing many cases of domestic violence that is threatening the lives of millions of women and young girls. The rate of this violence is on the increase day by day with ever more forms of atrocity and brutality defying all ethical and humanitarian norms. Iraqi government measurements to tackle the Corona virus pandemics, lockdowns, confinements and curfews, has intensified and at the same time exposed the level of this violence and bullying of women and young girls.
In spite of all the horrific manifestations of domestic violence, the Iraqi government agencies still show inability and weakness in dealing with women’s issues and domestic violence as well as the lack of any legislation. Iraq as a state does not fulfil its international obligations in line with the recommendations of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which calls for full protection for victims and survivors of violence, and the implementation of urgent preventive measures.
The Iraqi Women League adds its voice to that of organizations, networks, and forums, defending women’s rights in calling for the necessity of legislating a law that will prevent family violence with the provision that such legislation is a real and solid law that works to address all aspects of domestic violence and the heavy price that women and girls pay dearly. We also demand the implementation of concrete solutions to confront and address violence coupled with holding and prosecuting perpetrators of these crimes and imposing the most severe penalties to prevent the recurrence of such crimes and violations. We also demand a follow up on the recommendations of the CEDAW Committee that urges Iraq to consider the necessity of harmonizing Iraqi laws dealing with women issues with international treaties and agreements. We draw special attention to articles in the Iraqi Penal Code number 111 like article 398 that constitute a threat to women’s rights by demanding forced marriages of raped women to their rapist instead of compensating the victim and severe punishment of the rapist. Another example is Article 41 that gives the right to the husband to beat his wife Under the pretext of discipline, which is an explicit violation of Article 29 of the Iraqi Constitution of 2005, and Article 7 of the International Covenant of human rights. We demand the establishment of safe and sound shelters to protect victims and survivors of domestic violence
and provide them with safety and reduce the risks to which they are exposed to, because of extreme and old cultural traditions that violate their human rights.
It has become imperative for Iraq as a country to recognize the dangers of domestic violence as a phenomenon that threatens social cohesion and increases tension between Iraqi families.
So we call on the relevant and competent authorities to redouble efforts towards building a society free from violence, injustice and exploitation, ensuring safety and security for its women and girls and respect their human rights, and provide protection for all members of the family, especially children and the elderly (parents), enhancing the cohesion of the family and society.
Iraqi Woman’s league
April 19, 2020