Kirkuk women break silence
Women’s Rights groups in Kirkuk are calling on the Federal Government to stop ignoring their requests and help them gain equality with men.
Women from more than 20 organisations voiced their concerns at a joint conference in Kirkuk last week entitled ‘Women and Peace.’
They say they are also very concerned at the continuing high level of violence against women in Kirkuk.
A member of the KPC’s Human Rights Committee, Jwan Hasan, says the Iraq government does not support Kirkuk women in any way. Instead she says it violates their rights.
In the past two years violence against women has increased steadily in Kirkuk with 235 cases being recorded. Thirty women were killed last year.
The Congress called on the Ministry of Social Affairs to stop blocking attempts to open a shelter for threatened women.
The women also asked for more career opportunities in institutions such as the police.
Head of the Hiwa Organisation for women’s rights in Kirkuk, Srood Fatih, says it wants women to have a voice in decision making and to work according to decision 1325 of the United Nations Security Council.
The decision, issued in October 2000, urges a greater role for women in peace dialogue, planning and management.
“We don’t want to be neglected any more that’s why we have broken the silence,” Fatih said.
The Kirkuk Provincial Council Chairman.
, Hasan Torhan, told the congress he would try to realise some of the women’s demands using the petro-dollar budget.
Alla Talabani (who is she?) was chosen unanimously to act as a co-ordinator between the women’s groups and the Iraqi ministries. She promised to investiage the reasons why some government ministries had stalled women’s projects.
Ashwaq Jaff, a member of the Human Rights Committee in the Iraqi Parliament, also promised to try and raise the women’s demands with the parliament.
“Once we receive these demands in our committee we’ll work towards realising them, she said.
Ther congress was held in both Arabic and Kurdish and also called for action against corruption and abuse of public positions.
Zaniyar Daquqi – Kirkuk Now