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Iraqi women protest proposed changes to family laws
by things getting worse
Thursday Jan 15th, 2004 12:49 PM
BAGHDAD (AFP) - About 100 Iraqi women led by a minister protested in central Baghdad against a Governing Council proposal to scrap the secular family affairs code and place it under Muslim religious jurisdiction.
"I am outraged how the decision was taken," public works minister Nesrine al-Barwari told AFP.

"Iraq (news - web sites) is a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional society and the Governing Council must be more sensitive to this and it must create a true dialogue when it comes to these matters."

Barwari said the council has formed a committee to consider turning the proposal into law but that she and other women leaders in Iraq wanted to make their opposition heard to both the council and the US-led coalition.

She said women also demand greater representation in any future Iraqi government.

At the demonstration in Ferdus Square women stood behind banners that read: "No to discrimination between men and women in the new Iraq," and "We reject decision 137 (of the Governing Council) which undermines the Iraqi family and society."

Zakia Khalifa, an activist, said the new law would "take away women's rights."

"Even Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s family laws are better than this one," she said.

Iraq's 1959 civil code governing family affairs was considered the most progressive in the Middle East, making polygamy difficult and guaranteeing women's custody rights in the case of divorce.

Since 1991, Saddam's secular regime made some changes to the code to bring it more in line with Muslim laws but its essence remained the same.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040113/wl_mideast_afp/iraq_us_women_law_040113202530
§statement on this from Salam Pax
by repost Thursday Jan 15th, 2004 12:51 PM
Wednesday, January 14, 2004 ::
You would have thought a news item like this would get a bit more attention since one of the protesters was one of our newly appointed ministers:
Iraqi women protest proposed changes to family laws
Azzaman has it on the top right side of the front page, Asharq Al-Awsar on the top left.
About 100 Iraqi women led by a minister protested in central Baghdad against a Governing Council proposal to scrap the secular family affairs code and place it under Muslim religious jurisdiction.

"I am outraged how the decision was taken," public works minister Nesrine al-Barwari told AFP.
So first they slip in the bit about turning Iraq into a federal state without asking the Iraqis and now this. Me thinks the GC is taking on more than what it is supposed to do.

In Azzama Dr. Azhar Abdul-Karim, a constitutional law expert says that she thinks it is very unusual that the family law, as it is, gets abolished in the current situation since it is partly based on Sharia law anyway and abolishing this law without the presence of a an elected government will only create more Chaos. Here is the article from Azzaman in Arabic, the thing they had in the paper is a bit more than just a translation of the AFP which they have put on the web.
:: salam 11:19 PM [+] ::
http://www.dear_raed.blogspot.com/?tag=nl
§More info
by more info Friday Jan 16th, 2004 1:27 PM
http://www.indybay.org/news/2004/01/1667909.php