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Irak - Kvinder kræver større politisk indflydelse

IRAQ: Female politicians demand greater representation

IRINnews.org, 30. november 2005

Her kort tid før Iraks parlamentsvalg den 15. december, har en bred kreds af politisk aktive kvinder tilkendegivet, at deres repræsentation i de de politiske partiers ledelse samt deres andel af opstillede kandidater ved valget er utilfredsstillende. Årsagen er en kombination af at kvinder fortsat ikke er tilstrækkeligt politisk aktive samt at mændene generelt er ganske modvillige til at dele landets overordnede politiske ledelse med kvinderne.

BAGHDAD, 30 Nov 2005 (IRIN) - Iraqi women politicians of all stripes demanded greater representation in their respective political parties on Tuesday, at a meeting organised by US-based NGO the National Democratic Institute.

“We believe women should be more active in party committees,” said Faeza Kadum, member of the al Wefak al Watani party. “Their voices must be heard.”

Rafeda al-Jeburi, member of the al-Umma al-Iraqiah party, agreed.

“Men dominate the parties,” she said. “We want to be able to nominate women both for internal party elections and parliamentary elections.”

Iraq is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on 15 December.

Al-Jeburi complained that women party members were often used merely to fill quotas for female participation on party lists, saying: “We want equal representation in all party activities.”

Some 40 women from 19 different parties participated at the meeting, where they signed a final document demanding the right to nominate women for party positions and parliament; participate fully in party committees and take part in major decisions.

“These demands are aimed at establishing democracy for Iraqi women,” said Walate Gurgees, member of the Assyrian national party. “We’re asking men to share political responsibility with us.”

Under the administration of deposed President Saddam Hussein, the issue of women’s rights – political or otherwise – was largely sidelined. By the end of Saddam’s rule, some 47 percent of Iraqi women were illiterate or partly illiterate, according to a 2005 UNDP survey.

Following the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in early 2003, the political process became, to a degree, more open to women.

In March 2004, the then Iraqi Governing Council signed the Transitional Administrative Law, which guaranteed the right of all Iraqis – men and women – to freedom of speech, worship and association.

The law effectively banned political discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, class, or religion.

Many Iraqi male politicians likewise expressed their support for greater political participation by their female counterparts. “We support the Administrative Law and a more active role for women in politics,” said Hyder al-Musawi, spokesman for the Iraqi National Conference party.

Many women in attendance said their participation in politics was crucial, as they, too, were deeply affected by decisions taken by the government.

“Women politicians must be involved in all major decisions having to do with issues such as economic development and security, because women themselves suffer greatly from these respective problems,” Member of Parliament A'amal Kashef al- Gota'a said at the meeting.

Under a quota system introduced before elections in January 2005 for a transitional assembly, at least 25 percent of the seats in Iraq's parliament are reserved for women. Women won 31 percent of seats in January’s poll.

© IRIN - This article appeared originally on IRIN News.org and is published by engelund.dk according a general agreement. To view the original article, please click here.
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is a project of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
[This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]


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Opdateret d. 5.12.2005