Iraqi women activists and journalists launch a campaign to support women and combat domestic violence

Iraqi women activists and journalists launch a campaign to support women and combat domestic violence
KirkukNow- Ali Abdulzahra

For the first time since 2003, women activists plan to launch a campaign under the theme (#she_has_a right) that will coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8th.

The initiative calls for putting end to domestic violence against women through passing a long-awaited legislation by the Iraqi parliament.

The campaign will kick off with a rally at Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Friday, March 8th, in support of women’s rights and also to press for the approval of the law to combat domestic violence by the parliament.

Campaign organizers urged women to participate in the rally wearing white T-shirts and purple scarfs.

Jumana Mumtaz, a journalist and women’s rights activist said, “The social media has helped to reveal shocking stories of violence against women and children at home or at schools, yet only few have dared to publicly talk about their suffering.”

Jumana, who had worked on plenty of investigative reports related to domestic violence, says she witnessed many cases which “ended with women found themselves on the streets and their future ruined because of domestic violence.”

There is a culture of violence in our society the war has been one of its causes

She said, “These facts might upset some men, but I am just conveying the reality. I understand if these men feel uncomfortable because they are being accused of a crime they didn’t commit, because they stood by women as a father or a brother or a husband or a friend.”

However, she sent a clear message to men by saying, “The reality is not as rosy as our dreams. There is a culture of violence in our society the war has been one of its causes. This culture should be rooted out; the society and women in particular need your stand. Therefore, protect her and protect her children and stand by her for the sake of passing the Law to Combat Domestic Violence.”

Unless legislation on combating domestic violence is passed by parliament things will get even worse

Hanin Khalili, an organizer of the campaign spoke about the issue of domestic violence saying, “In the past few years, we have been hearing news about women being beaten to death on a daily basis. Hospitals crammed with women suffering fractures and bruises until the issue was becoming a normal routine.”

Hanin stressed that “unless legislation on combating domestic violence is passed by parliament things will get even worse.”  

She indicated that the (#she_has_a right) campaign is “an initiative aimed to press for passing the legislation and stand by traumatized women who are unable to defend themselves.”

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