Iraqi Women’s Rights Dependent on Election Results

Iraqi women’s rights leaders fear that Sunday’s elections could result in the installation of religious extremists that could put women’s lives at risk. According to Women’s eNews, two leading Iraqi women’s rights leaders expressed concern that candidates with an extremist agenda could win the majority of seats, leading to a suppression of women’s rights.

While Iraq’s interim constitution currently guarantees at least 25 percent of the 275 seats in Iraq’s new National Assembly for women, female candidates were targets of violence led by extremists in attempts to keep women from campaigning. Now that the elections have taken place, activists fear that newly elected members of the assembly could try to reinstate Resolution 137—an attempt made by religious leaders last March to restrict women’s rights by putting current family law under sharia (Islamic) law.

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WomenÕs ENews 1/30/05; Boston Globe 1/30/05

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