Iraq: Women meet to protect rights in the Iraqi constitution

Iraqi Center for Women Rehabilitation & Employment - ICFWRE
A brief report of a conference on women's rights and personal status law recently held in Baghdad.
The fourth regional conference of Iraqi Center for Women Rehabilitation & Employment (ICFWRE) was held in Al-Hamraa Hall Al-Monsur Mellia Hotel on 23 September 2006, under the slogan of, "Our unity in the personal status law".
The themes of the conference were:
  1. Iraqi women rights between reality and ambition (by Dr. Azhaar Al-Sheikhli) our last women minister speaking about Iraqi women rights and what she achieved or was allowed to achieve from commanding assembly to the current constitution, thus her analytical experience as an ex-minister of women in a very critical period and as a director of Ahid Al Iraq now.
  2. The parliament's member under quota (Aleea' AL-Ansari, head of Bent Al-Rafeedain in Babylon – writer & novelist).
  3. Unit 41 in the Iraqi constitution, Dr. Amar Tarq Al-Ani a member of administrative board in ICFWRE and a Dr. in Alnahrain University.
  4. The personal status law, (Dr. Sadiq Jaafer) speaking about how the personal code supports women, family and child in marriage, divorce and inheritance.
  5. The role of NGO in Iraqi agenda, Mrs. Jenan Mubark speaking about the work of NGO's and the problems that stand against NGO's work and previewed the effective factors in progress operation.
The number of people who attended the conference was 125 participants, there were 100 organizations (20 organizations from southern and northern governorates), 25 VIPs such as the Minister of the Environment Narmeen Authman and the Member of Parliament Baha' Al-A'raji, the Head of Legal Committee, NGO's representative in Parliament, six satellite channels, three general supervisors, a number of Iraqi University representatives, the Ministry of Industry and others.

A survey was distributed and a booklet was also prepared by ICFWRE.

There was a break for lunch then the participants were divided to five work groups and developed the following recommendations:
  1. Cancelling unit 41 from Iraqi constitution, at the worst thing is keeping it as a choice and keeping the current personal status law. Unite to be Iraqis free to choose their personal status according to their doctrines, religions and believes or consulting to the personal status law no. 188 modified in 1959.
  2. Working to make necessary changes to develop personal status law.
  3. Offering a proposal to modify the current code by achieving the equality between man &woman as for the kinds of divorce.
  4. The modified proposal is dividing the money of husband &wife equally when they were divorced at the condition that this division is to the money earning after marriage except the inheritance and donation (gift).
  5. They were agreed to form a network consisting of a number of legal and political characters and organizations working on unit 41 of the constitution and personal status law, to unify the law and reach to the decisionmakers by carrying out work strategies for the net only.
  6. It was planning to hold conference in Kurdistan to unify all or most of the Iraqi organizations working on PSL to press on the Parliament to fix in Constitution.
  7. A huge exhibition - many governorates participate with their handicrafts to speak about our Iraqi heritage.