News from the Arab Press

Iraq: The Institutionalized Enslavement Of Women

By Asaf Zilberfarb | The Media Line

November 7, 2017


Al-Anba, Kuwait, November 4

The last towns and cities in Iraq have only just been liberated from the Islamic State, but Baghdad is already promoting laws that might force women back to the dark days living under the rule of the terror organization. The Iraqi parliament recently voted on a set of bills to legalize child marriage, applying to girls as young as 9-years-old. Women, who have been the ultimate victims of ISIS—having faced harassment, rape, and slavery—will now potentially be subjected to a new set of regulations that would again deprive them of their basic liberties. The law also outlaws marriage between sects, with the purported goal of eliminating sectarian tensions. Amid backlash, Iraqi legislators have justified this “progressive” bill as a way to enhance the rights of women to inherit the property of their fathers. But it is clear that this new move paves the way for the institutional enslavement of women by defining any girl above the age of 9 as a legally responsible adult. Can we take a moment to ponder the meaning of this? A girl in the fourth grade—still in elementary school—would be considered mature enough to accept a marriage proposal without the consent of a parent or guardian. This law is not only a violation of women’s rights but also of children’s rights. It is a stark and frightening reminder that although the Islamic State is on its way to defeat, its radical ideology still lives on. It does not matter whether such rules are promoted in the name of Islam or, in this case, allegedly for the benefit of women—there should be no room in any political system for such flagrant violation of human rights. Sometimes our biggest enemies are those that walk among us and not the radical organizations we fight with the sword. –Hazem Sagiyah

Print Friendly, PDF & Email