Thursday, August 04, 2005

Women protest in Najaf!

For the 1st time in Najaf, women go out in an independent protest demanding their full rights and condemning the parts of draft of the constitution that threatens the state of women rights.
The protest which took place in front of the office of the Najaf human rights organization yesterday was reported by radio free Iraq:

The responses to the draft that was announced on Al-Sabah on July 26th varied in the Najafi street between cautious agreement and total disagreement but one group of women went to the streets in a protest that is considered the first for women in Najaf.

The report also included an interview with Ms. Intisar Al-Mayali who organized the protest.

When we asked Al-Mayali about the reasons behind the protest and the demands of the participating women, she said:

"Today we have women from 17 civil society organizations was organized to show that we strongly reject the parts of the proposed constitution that are against our rights as Iraqi women and this protest is in support of the memorandum we sent to the CDC in which we clarified our demands".

Then she details the women's demands and concerns:

"We want to make clear that we're against any attempt to revive the notorious 137 personal affairs law which was born during the period of Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim when he was the head of the GC.
We want a civil law to govern issues like marriage and inheritance and we also want to reactivate the related international treaties that Iraq had already signed and approved long time ago and even the existing civil law that we support needs to be modified and improved in a way that matches the needs and rights of Iraqi women and we insist that Islam must not be the only source of legislation".
Webcast of the report can be found here.

What's even more interesting is that those women come from the strictly conservative city of Najaf where the SCIRI won the provincial elections and appointed one of their men as governor, yet those strong women had enough courage to publicly claim equality with men, condemn forcing Share'at laws into the constitution and also criticized Al-Hakim in spite of all the power and influence he has in Najaf.

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