The Early Days of a Better Nation

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Liberation for women, that's what I preach, preacher man

Juan Cole points to reports of Iraqi women's protests against the IGC's abolition of Iraq's former uniform, secular civil code and its replacement by religious/communal personal status law.
As reported here earlier, the IGC took a decision recently to abolish Iraq's civil personal status law, which was uniform for all Iraqis under the Baath. In its place, the IGC called for religious law to govern personal status, to be administered by the clerics of each of Iraq's major religious communities for members of their religion. Thus, Shiites would be under Shiite law and Chaldeans under Catholic canon law for these purposes.

The IGC has ceded to the religious codes jurisdiction over marriage, engagement, suitability to marry, the marriage contract, proof of marriage, dowry, financial support, divorce, the 3-month "severance payments" owed to divorced wives in lieu of alimony, inheritance, and all other personal status matters.


The US is now in the position of imposing on the Iraqi public, including the 50% who are women, a theocratic code of personal status.

This is literally mediaeval reaction.


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