Iraqi women demand a place in new government

The new government of Iraq, announced last September 8 by the new Prime Minister Haider al Abadi was resented by the major organizations of Iraqi women because it includes only one woman among its 25 members (22 ministers and three deputy Pms). The Iraqi Women Network expects more women in decision-making positions, as promised by politicians. “It is unfortunate, says IWN that women remain victims of patriarchal bargains in the distribution of ministerial positions and the consolidation of the policy of exclusion and discrimination against women”. The women activists agreed to continue demanding to increase the share of women in the ministries that still have not appointed ministers, as well as deputy ministers within the cabinet, in the chairmanship of the parliamentary committees and in the presidencies of the independent commissions and boards.

At the same time, the attendees praised the inclusion in the new government's program of provisions for strengthening the role of women in society, as well as promoting the role of civil society organizations in the process of development, construction, monitoring and evaluation. The Iraqi Women Network will coordinate with female MPs the drafting of a law creating an independent Commission or a High Council for the advancement of women. The meeting also agreed to cooperate with female MPs to create the women parliamentary bloc.

The meeting decided to convene a national conference titled "Women are Peacemakers" to debate the impact of ISIS terrorist practices on the status of women, displaced women, women and justice, forced marriages, sexual violence, women in decision-making positions, and mechanisms of coordination among NGOs about the role of women in peace and security.

The IWN will work with Amnesty International in collecting data and testimonies about ISIS criminal practices against women and children, to be presented to the investigating committee of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations when they visit Iraq in the upcoming months.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Iraqi Al-Amal Association, Women for Peace, the Association of Iraqi Women, Iraqi Journalists Forum, Baghdad Women Association, Rafidain Women Alliance, member of the Iraqi Human Rights Commission, Dr. Bushra al-Obaidi, member of the municipal council of Sadr City, Ms. Amal Kabashi, and the academic and researcher Dr. Balkis Mohammed Jawad.

Source: Iraqi Al-Amal Association.

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