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Statement of Iraqi Women Network On the occasion of March 8th, International Women’s Day Glory to March 8th, and to life and freedom makers all over the world

Statement of Iraqi Women Network On the occasion of March 8th, International Women’s Day Glory to March 8th, and to life and freedom makers all over the world We proudly remember the glorious history of Iraqi women and feminism movement, which started since the early twenties of the last century, and has made a lot of achievements, particularly the Personal Status Law No. 188 of 1959, and made them involved in the scientific, creativity, economic, social and political fields. Iraqi women have suffered from the policies of the dictatorial regime, terrorism and long aggressive wars including the impacts of destructive social backwardness. In the light of fragile security and political situation that has prevailed in our country after 2003 through the U.S. occupation and its negative impacts, terrorist attacks and abhorrent sectarian violence, the situation of women was deteriorated, and this was reflected in the prevalence of illiteracy among them that exceeded 40 %, as well as a high percentage of dropout girls and about 50% of young graduates are unemployed, in addition to hundreds of thousands of widows, millions of orphans, individuals with special needs and homeless people living in misery, poverty and deprivation in a country that has a federal budget up to hundred billion of dollars. The Iraqi women suffered from the marginalization of their role in political life, employment, promotion, crushing their dignity and violating their legal rights by practices of discrimination and violence, such as forcing girls to early marriage, girls trafficking, marriages and divorce out of court, polygamy and temporary marriages, and restriction of their personal freedom. On International Women’s Day, the symbol of the struggle of women all over the world for their dignity and their right to equality, participation in building a secure world without wars , violence and discrimination, and to achieve sustainable development and social justice, the NGOs affiliated within Iraqi Women Network reaffirmed their intention to continue the struggle to defend the interests of Iraqi women, and all their political, legal, social, economic and cultural achievements through a long process of struggle that is full of sacrifices and challenges. They stresses, at the same time, that they seek to achieve stability, peace, harmony and the democratic transition in our country. On this occasion, NGOs renewed their call to take action regarding: 1 – Adoption of a national strategy for the advancement of the status of women, to address the negative impacts that hinder the integration of women in economic, social and cultural life, to use of modern technology by broad segments of women and enable them to exercise their full political rights according to the UN SCR 1325, to ensure that they participate actively in all executive, legislative and judicial institutions. 2 – Adoption of a national strategy to combat violence against women which includes the monitoring of violations of women’s rights guaranteed in the constitution and national legislations, revision of unfair laws and regulations according to Iraq’s international obligations towards human rights conventions, women and children, the issuance of the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence, and the creation of structures and mechanisms to protect the survivors of violence and reintegrate them into public life, in addition to put an end to impunity on the perpetrators of crimes of violence against women. 3 – Formation of the Independent High Commission for Women Advancement to achieve an effective partnership among various State institutions, civil society organizations and media in monitoring the implementation of national policies for the improvement and development of the situation of women, as well as raise social awareness of women rights and their role in achieving tremendous progress of the society. 4 – Amending the valid constitution by the abolition of Article 41, this article aimed at tearing the social fabric by sectarian lines and threatened the principle of citizens’ equality before the law. 5 – Adoption of the Political Parties Law so as to ensure women’s quota by not less than one third in the formation of political parties and their leadership structure. 6 – Adoption of the Social Security Law to non-working individuals to take care of vulnerable social groups. 7 – Developing programs for women welfare and social protection network to enable the widows and the female breadwinners of families by involving them in education, vocational skills and small projects to ensure decent living for them and their families. 8 – To have pressure to improve the living conditions of poor families, the low-income people, and displaced people, to secure their basic needs of food through the ration coupon card, to increase the rates of wages for unskilled workers, to allocate of loans to them to create jobs that ensure constant income, and to build residential compounds for them. 9 – To have pressure to improve the level of basic services to citizens, such as electricity, drinking water, health care, educational institutions and paving roads. 10 – Ensuring respect for human rights and public freedoms guaranteed by the constitution, in particular freedom of expression, demonstration, and the rights of national and religious minorities. 11 – Addressing the rampant corruption in the State institutions and the ruling political class, demanding transparency and activating the role of institutional oversight and public accountability, exposing the corrupted people and bringing them to justice without exception. 12 – Accelerating the solutions for missing files, improving the conditions of the detainees, releasing those who have not been convicted with specific criminal charges, compensating them and their families, in addition to purging the security services and personnel in prisons and detention centers from corrupted individuals and torturers. 13 – Passing a law to ensure the right of civil society organizations in financial support for their programs within the annual State budget. We send tribute to the Iraqi women who work hard with dedication and selflessness to achieve the dream of millions in peace, security, justice and democratic change. A tribute to the freedom fighters throughout the Arab world, especially in Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Palestine, Libya and Tunisia, against tyranny, oppression, occupation, extremism and intolerance, and those who fight for dignity, freedom and equality. Glory and eternity for the Iraqi women martyrs, Long live the Iraqi women’s movement. March 7th, 2012

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About iraqiwomennet

Name: IraqiWomen Network. Email: iraqiwomennet@yahoo.com Headquarter: Baghdad, with the right to establish branches in all the governorates. Logo: Together for Dignity, Equality and Peace. Orientation: An Umbrella women NGO, viewed as an independent civil democratic movement; not subordinated to any political body. It has developmental humanitarian goals and it is open to all intellectual currents which believe that the advancement of woman is the actual measure for the progress of the society. Aims: Coordinating the woman NNGOs to build democracy, law enforcement, human rights and work

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