Iraqi Council Agrees on Interim Constitution, Women Win Quarter of Seats

Iraq’s US-backed Governing Council agreed on an interim constitution after debating over issues of the role of Islam, representation for women in government, family law, and Kurdish autonomy.

However, according to Reuters, the interim constitution states that Islam should be Iraq’s official religion but should only be “a source” of legislation rather than the primary source. In addition, after great advocacy efforts by Iraqi women’s rights activists to win 40 percent of seats for women in the legislature, the document sets aside as a minimum 25 percent of the seats in the legislature for women.

According to the New York Times, the 18-member committee that drafted the interim constitution did not include any women.

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Reuters 3/1/04; Washington Post 3/1/04, 2/27/04; The New York Times 2/27/04, 2/26/04

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