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New Iraqi Electoral Commission Does Not Set Aside Seats for Women

On April 21 the Iraqi Governing Council agreed to establish an Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq. Submissions of nominations were just announced and will only be taken until May 15. The Independent Electoral Commission will be responsible for overseeing, preparing, and conducting Iraq’s elections according to international law and the established Iraqi framework. There are no specific provisions for women for the seven electoral commissioner’s seats.

Iraq’s Transitional Administration Law (TAL), however, has established a target of 25 percent of the seats for women in the interim assembly after extensive efforts made by Iraqi women who mobilized and spearheaded a national drive to have at least 40 percent representation in decision-making bodies in Iraq.

The United States has anointed very few women to leadership positions. The 25-member US appointed Iraqi Governing Council includes only three women. In addition, the 18-member committee that drafted the interim constitution did not include any women.

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Sources:

Washington Post 5/4/04; Feminist Majority