The Early Days of a Better Nation

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Women's equality in Iraq

Juan Cole reports a welcome defeat for reaction in Iraq:
Raghida Dergham reports in al-Hayat that the representatives on the Interim Governing Council of the Islamist tendency suffered a political defeat on Friday when the IGC abrogated Directive 137, which it had issued in late December, and which put personal status law in the jurisdiction of religious courts. If implemented, the order would have abrogated the uniform civil personal status law of 1959.

An informed source reported to Dergham that IGC member Raja' al-Khuza'i, a maternity physician who missed the first vote, was the one who insisted that the directive be reconsidered in light of the angry public response to it. (Many women's groups had mounted protests).

One of the organisers of these protests, the communist and women's liberationist Yanar Mohammed, has received a second credible death threat from an Islamist militia group. You can show support for her here.


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