Women Who Have No Share in Politics

02 March 2013 | 17:45 Code : 1913472 Review General category
An exclusive essay by Jawad al-Bulani, Iraq’s former Interior Minister
Women Who Have No Share in Politics


What is regrettable is that many of the present politicians assume that the reconstruction of the country must only be summarized in the development of the country’s infrastructures and residential complexes. That is why we see that during the first ten years of Iraq’s transformation into a free and democratic country, big achievements were not acquired at the level of municipal councils and local parliaments or governments. Besides, no humanitarian development has occurred and local communities are still backwarded. Meanwhile, women, more than any other group, are threatened by social degradation. Unfortunately, in the strictly traditional communities of Iraq, the social status of women has not been permitted to grow and this has led to the degradation of women’s status in Iraqi society. This is a dangerous problem for the future political and social life of this country.

Based on the latest statistics, more than 50% of Iraq’s population is comprised of women. One of the most important reasons behind their increasing number is the useless wars that took place during the 35 years of the Ba’athist government; added to that are the mass graves, genocides, very violent policies and the destruction and oppression of Iraqi families. These issues have all led to a severe decrease in men’s population and the increasing number of women’s population.

On the other hand, Iraq has been under sanctions and severe economic embargos of western countries and the US, leading to the worsening of the economic situation of the Iraqis. They, in turn, have caused numerous environmental and health problems for the country and increased the number of Iraq’s social problems. In addition, terrorism, whose shadow has covered the country since a decade ago, has been one of the other reasons behind the worsening of social problems. During all this time and under the shadow of such a situation leading to a storm of events in Iraq, the Iraqi women stood alone against all these threats.

Therefore, the Iraqi women deserve to be considered at the level of the local governments so that such problems will not be repeated again. The local councils and governments, as the major infrastructures of the formation of the government of Iraq, are significant because they are more involved in social and political issues than other sectors of the government and have the capacity to upgrade the culture and make social developments more than any other institution.

Again, based on the latest statistics, almost 2 million people in Iraq have been widowed due to the last decade’s terrorist incidents, the consequences of which are still not comprehendible for us.

The new Iraqi government has no choice but to pay more attention to women’s rights. We should not limit women’s rights just to rights inside the house and deprive them of working opportunities at the social level. This is a problem which must certainly be paid attention to. In the future, we will be confronted with numerous problems in this regard and we have to start dealing with them now. The upcoming provincial elections in Iraq can play a significant role in achieving women’s ideals and rights. Despite the fact that in the last provincial elections women achieved two thirds of the votes, no progress has been made in this regard and we hope that this problem will not be repeated in the next elections. Before anything, we must prepare the society from the political and social aspects to accept women as part of the society who have the right to social and political movements. Meanwhile, we can use the experiences of many countries including our neighboring countries, especially Iran, which have valuable experiences in women’s participation in social and political affairs.

We should not forget that on the issue of development, humanitarian development is more important than any other development. Until the time when we have achievements in the field of humanitarian development, we cannot imagine great achievements being acquired in the economic and infrastructural development of the country. Using women and providing their rights must be considered as the main social strategy so that big movements in advancing the democratic objectives of the country and solving many of the social and political problems take place.

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