Legislation To Set Iraqi Women Back 1,000 Years If Passed

Instead of moving forward, we are regressing.

A 10-year-old Yemeni girl joyful after she was granted a divorce from her husband.

There is a possibility that children in Iraq could soon be legally married before the age of nine if the latest legislation, which was tabled on Tuesday, becomes a law. 

It essentially introduces monstrous clauses, strips women of their rights and condones  pedophilia. 

The proposed revision of the minimum age comes from the Jaafari Personal Status Law, which is based on the principles of a Shiite school of religious law founded by Jaafar al-Sadiq, the sixth imam.  

The legislation has gained acceptance from the governing coalition which is trying to draw support from the Shia community in the upcoming April 30 election. 

This heinous legislation is coming dangerously close to becoming a law.

Read More: Here’s Why It Is Important To Put An End To Child Marriages

The previous Iraqi law on marriage violated women rights, but was still relatively better. 

While it allowed the legal age for marriage without parental consent to be 18, girls could tie the knot at a younger age with approval from their mother, father or guardian. 

This is not new news. Women have had to brave the violence-ridden streets of Baghdad to save their girls from child marriage.

Read More: 6-Year-Old Girl Rescued From Child Marriage In Afghanistan By An Anonymous Donor

This is what the reactions have been like:

Ayad Allawi: On Tuesday, an enraged former Iraqi prime minister warned that the approval of such a law would lead to the mistreatment of women. "It allows for girls to be married from nine years of age and even younger" 

Hanaa Edwar: A well-known activist and head of the charity Al-Amal ("Hope" in Arabic), has campaigned fiercely against the law, explaining that it robs women of their rights. "It turns women into tools for sexual enjoyment."

Human Rights Watch: The US-based organization issued an appeal to the Iraqi government to abandon the legislations. Women’s rights activist Basma al-Khateeb said in a Human Rights Watch report, "The passage of the Jaafari law sets the ground for legalized inequality."

How can barbarism be allowed to become part of law? It’s ludicrous that legislators can be allowed to exploit women rights, doom them to a life of sexual slavery, and turn them into nothing more than objects. 

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