Thursday, January 15, 2009

Iraqi Women: Lack Seats in Govt.

From the International Herald Tribune:
"Early versions of the law, which governs the election of Iraq's 18 provincial councils, included a firm guarantee that women would have at least 25 percent of the seats - the same percentage mandated by the Constitution for the numbers of women in Parliament.

In the male-dominated Arab culture, the framers of the Constitution and the Americans who were involved in drafting it felt the quota was necessary to ensure that women would be represented.

But the provincial election law was changed several times, and the quota language was gone by the time it went to the Presidency Council, whose approval is needed for it to become official. It went back to the Parliament with several unrelated changes and was published in early October.

The lack of a strong guarantee for women's seats has only begun to gain widespread attention in the last few days."

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