Women In Iraq Brief History Research Paper

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Once the practice of Islamic worship the women of that region began to be subjected to stricter codes, from marriage to dress and the risk of honor becoming an even greater issue grew. The terrorization by the Mongols and Turks was quite different from the terror under Saddam. The Mongols and Turks utilized slavery, rape, beatings and murder. Saddam instead took on an entirely different approach. His first goal was fear coupled with violence to maintain the plans he made for the society and culture. He was less about Islam and more about self-promotion and the glorification of Iraq. This type of leader is most like Josef Stalin of the Soviet Union. One never knew when or why you might be targeted. Following the fall of the Ba'th government, the population of women in Iraq was at approximately 60%. They are a definite majority and should be in a better position.

Today there are some glimmers of hope for women accompanied by trepidation. On October 15, 2005 Iraq's new constitution was approved in a nationwide referendum (Coleman, Isobel). Article 14 of that new constitution states that, Iraqis are equal before the law "without discrimination because of sex." (Coleman). But it does not end there. The constitution also states that no law can be passed that contradicts the "established rulings" of Islam (Coleman). For this reason, the constitution has been condemned by critics both inside and outside Iraq as a fundamental setback for a majority of Iraq's population-namely, its women (Coleman). According to Isam al-Khafaji, an Iraqi scholar, the document "could easily deprive women of their rights."(Coleman). Yanar Muhammad, a leading secular activist and the head of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq, worries that the Islamic provision will turn the country "into an Afghanistan under the Taliban, where oppression and discrimination of women is institutionalized (Coleman).

Iraq's constitution does not state who will decide which version of Islam will take precedence in the country's new legal system (Coleman). But the battle has...

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Victory by the progressives would have positive implications for all aspects of the future of Iraq, since women's rights are critical to democratic consolidation in transitional and war-torn societies (Coleman). Allowing a full social, political, and economic role for women in Iraq would help ensure its transition to a stable democracy (Coleman). Success for women in Iraq would also reverberate throughout the broader Muslim world (Coleman). In every country where Islamic law is enforced, women's rights have become a divisive issue, and the balance struck between tradition and equality in Iraq will influence these other debates (Coleman).
Although questions of implementation remain, the new Iraqi constitution makes Islam the law of the land (Coleman). This need not mean trouble for Iraq's women, however. Islamic law is open to a wide range of interpretations, some quite democratic (Coleman). If Washington still hopes for a liberal order in Iraq, it should start working with progressive Muslim scholars to advance women's rights through religious channels (Coleman)

Works Cited

"AEI - Post-Saddam Iraq Conference Series." Welcome to AEI. Web. 7 July 2010. .

Chesler, Phyliss. "Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence?" The Phyllis Chesler Organization. Web. 7 July 2010. .

Coleman, Isobel. "Women, Islam, and the New Iraq | Foreign Affairs." Home | Foreign Affairs. Web. 7 July 2010. .

"Culture in Post-Saddam Iraq:: Middle East Quarterly." Middle East Forum. Web. 7 July 2010. .

"Culture of Iraq - Traditional, History, People, Women, Beliefs, Food, Customs, Family, Social, Dress, Marriage, Men, Life, Population, Religion, Rituals, History and Ethnic Relations." Countries and Their Cultures. Web. 7 July 2010. .

"Honor Killing." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 7 July 2010. .

"Iraq - HISTORY." Rainforest - Mongabay.com. Web. 7 July 2010. .

"Islamic Marital Jurisprudence." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 7 July 2010. .

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

"AEI - Post-Saddam Iraq Conference Series." Welcome to AEI. Web. 7 July 2010. .

Chesler, Phyliss. "Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence?" The Phyllis Chesler Organization. Web. 7 July 2010. <http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/211/are-honor-killings-simply-domestic-violence>.

Coleman, Isobel. "Women, Islam, and the New Iraq | Foreign Affairs." Home | Foreign Affairs. Web. 7 July 2010. <http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/61371/isobel-coleman/women-islam-and- the-new-iraq>.

"Culture in Post-Saddam Iraq:: Middle East Quarterly." Middle East Forum. Web. 7 July 2010. .
"Culture of Iraq - Traditional, History, People, Women, Beliefs, Food, Customs, Family, Social, Dress, Marriage, Men, Life, Population, Religion, Rituals, History and Ethnic Relations." Countries and Their Cultures. Web. 7 July 2010. .
"Honor Killing." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 7 July 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing>.
"Iraq - HISTORY." Rainforest - Mongabay.com. Web. 7 July 2010. <http://www.mongabay.com/reference/country_studies/iraq/HISTORY.html>.
"Islamic Marital Jurisprudence." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 7 July 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_marital_jurisprudence>.


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