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09 Mar 2014

UNAMI - UN Envoy Calls for the Full Integration of Women in Iraqi Society

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov welcomed the fact that Iraq, despite uneven progress, is one of the countries in the Middle East that has been in the forefront of empowering women.  “The full integration of women in Iraqi society is one of the keys to stability, tolerance and democracy.  No society can call itself inclusive if man and women are not treated equally before the law and if the constitutionally guaranteed rights of women are not observed”, Mr. Mladenov said.

The Government of Iraq launched a National Action Plan on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.  This action plan gives Iraqi women a real chance to participate in structuring peace and promote inclusive and sustainable peace. Iraq also presented its fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in February 2014, the first such report in ten years. 

The United Nations however is concerned over the recent adoption by the Council of Ministers of the al-Ja'afari Personal Status Bill that puts at risk the unity of the national legislation and can contribute to the fragmentation of the national identity.  The Bill will reverse the gains made to protect and advance women and girls' rights that are protected by the constitution. 

“I urge the Iraqi Council of Representatives to ensure that all intended laws adhere to the highest international human rights standards and conform to the international instruments to which Iraq is party including the CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).  The UN remains committed to supporting the efforts of the Government and civil society to empower women and ensure gender equality in law and in practice.  Equality for women leads to progress for the whole society”, Mr. Mladenov stressed.

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