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Commission on Women’s Rights Concern on Iraq

UN Commission On Women’s Equal Rights Expresses Concern About Iraq

New York, Jul 26 2005 5:00PM

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has urged the Government of Iraq to ensure that gender equality and non-discrimination are fully reflected in the Iraqi constitution which is being drafted and will become the basis for the country’s legal framework.

Iraq has been a State party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women since 1986 and CEDAW previously has expressed concern about the situation of Iraqi women and called on the interim Government to ensure equal participation of women in reconstruction and full compliance with the Convention, CEDAW said in a statement late last week.

The 23-member CEDAW emphasized again the urgent need to rehabilitate and reintegrate the Iraqi women and children who are victims of the conflict.

The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) said last week that a draft of the constitution showed that factors in ensuring women's equality with men and issues addressed by international laws and treaties would all be subordinated to Islamic law, or Sharia, and the progressive Personal Status Law governing marriage, divorce and inheritance would be replaced by the law as practised by a family's own religion or sect.

Some 200 men and women staged a protest against the draft last Tuesday at Baghdad's Firdaws Square, but the sit-in ended when news came that two Sunni members of the drafting committee had been assassinated, UNIFEM said.


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