Enlightening Feminism and Dabran Platform Oppose to Amend Iraqi Personal Status Law by Iraqi Parliament

6 years ago

The Enlightening Feminism and Dabran Platform’s Statement about the amendment of the Personal Status Law No. 188 of Iraq (1959).

Following the Iraqi parliament’s approval, in principle, to make amendments to Iraq’s Personal Statues Law No. 188 of year (1959) on November 1st, 2017 proposed by several Iraqi parliamentary blocs, stirred up anger around the country and among human rights observers. The proposal is an attempt to enlarge the sectarian and ethnic differences in Iraq and adds a new type of abuse of women. Passing the bill into a law will be a huge law failure, thus leading to social and psychological catastrophe and fervent the sectarian divisions in Iraq by law.

One of the most threatening Articles of the proposed law aims to lower the marriage age and would allow girls to get married from the age of nine, which is internationally recognized as a child stage. At this stage the child’s body structure and organisms are not fully developed. Therefore, the individual is not ready for the changes that marriage brings into the body. Also, marriage at that early age devastates the psychological and social conditions of the child as well as leaving a long negative influence on her personality throughout her life. Furthermore, the bill is a plain violation of internationally-recognized rights of women and children as well as a clear violation of the Iraqi constitution. Additionally, implementing the law will bring many complications to the law courts while implementing the law.

The proposal comes at a time when the majority of advocates and activists of women’s rights were striving to abolish the modified personal status law to a new law relevant to the modern world and agreeable to the human rights standards that admire women and gender rights according to the law. However, the bill will take the Iraqi society back to medieval ages or even further behind.

The Kurdish Enlightening Feminism and Dabran Platform strongly condemn the proposed legislation and position of the Iraqi Parliament, and demand for interrogating the parties that proposed and advocated for the alteration of the law because they have worked and violated the country’s constitution and the constitution and the social rights of women and children.

Moreover, we call upon all non-governmental organization (NGO), UNICEF, and all the other international rights advocacy organizations to condemn and prevent the amendment of the law, which deforms the Iraqi community and is a regression to the dark times and further detachs it from social renewal and development and obliterates any hope for forming a democratic and enlightened society that respects individual rights.

The Kurdish Enlightening Feminism takes the preliminary precaution, and if necessary in the future will endeavor to try every form of civil activity to prevent the amendment of the law to take place.

Enlightening Feminism and Dabran Platform
November 14, 2017


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