Guarantee respect for the rights of women 

November 16, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Runak Abdulwahid Mustafa, first lady of Iraq (photo: PUK media)

is calling for broad consultation about a proposal to amend Iraq’s personal status law of 1959 which would bring down the age of marriage to 9. The first lady of Iraq insisted that respect for women’s rights should be guaranteed.

In a statement on the official website of Iraqi Presidency, Runak Abdulwahid Mustafa calls on the Iraqi legislature to guarnatee respect for women’s rights. According to Law number 188 of 1959 the age of marriage is set at 18 while the new amendment could bring down the minimum age to nine.

The proposal has angered the civil society organisations which consider bring down the age of marriage to 9 as a violence against female children.

Suad Abu-Dayyeh, of Equality Now, based in Jordan, told the Guardian: “This bill contradicts international conventions and the national law in Iraq. If it is approved, in effect, each and every religious sect will follow their clerics. It will be catastrophic for women’s rights.

Last week, United Nations envoy (UNAMI) called for a wider consultation on the matter and stated that the new law should protect the rights of underaged girls.

According to the new propsal known as “Jafari” , the age of marriage is set at nine while in the 1959 law the age was set at 18.

The law was introduced in in July 2013 by Hasan Shamri the then justice minister and after approval by the council of ministers was referred to the parliament for final approval but was subjected to strong disagreement and it was not put to a vote then. However now once again the law is being pushed to be disciussed in the parlaiment.

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