Women’s Rights In Iraq: Going, Going…

Every day in Iraq, the civil war seems to loom larger, with two Sunnis working on the new constitution gunned down.

By the way, the latest draft of the Iraqi constitution apparently puts more emphasis on Islamic law, treats ethnic groups differently and sets BACK women’s rights.

One of the critical passages is in Article 14 of the chapter, a sweeping measure that would require court cases dealing with matters like marriage, divorce and inheritance to be judged according to the law practiced by the family’s sect or religion.

Under that measure, Shiite women in Iraq, no matter what their age, generally could not marry without their families’ permission. Under some interpretations of Shariah, men could attain a divorce simply by stating their intention three times in their wives’ presence.

Article 14 would replace a body of Iraqi law that has for decades been considered one of the most progressive in the Middle East in protecting the rights of women, giving them the freedom to choose a husband and requiring divorce cases to be decided by a judge.

Great. So now women can look back at the murderous regime of Hussein with a certain longing. Thanks, Bush!

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