While efforts to improve the rights of women have increased in post-ISIS Iraq, domestic violence laws are yet to be implemented
In Erbil, a seminar was held to discuss and raise the issue of domestic violence against women in Iraq. The seminar also discussed the current situation in Iraq and how best to push legislative reform through parliament.
The Parliament of Kurdistan passed the law against domestic violence in 2011. While both the Anti-Violence against Women Strategy (2013-2017) and the National Strategy on the Advancement of Women in Iraq, which was adopted in 2014, call for legislation on violence against women, no law has yet been passed by Baghdad.
Participants came from a broad range of society and have called on the Iraqi federal government to pass legislation protecting the rights of women and girls. According to the participants, the success of the law in the Kurdistan Region demonstrates the viability and potential success of implementing the law across other areas of the country. Many say that the law has also contributed to the improvement of citizens’ wider knowledge on women’s rights and provided them with greater protection and freedom.
“We demand the adoption of this law in Iraq because the experiment was very successful in the Kurdistan Region,” said one of the participants. “It is also a successful experience and is entitled to all women in the Iraqi society to enjoy and not only within the Kurdistan region.”
While women’s rights have taken a greater focus in post-ISIS Iraq, the inclusion of a domestic violence law will go someway to further improving this situation.