The women of the Iraqi parliament are able to unite to form the largest bloc
The women of the Iraqi parliament are able to unite to form the largest bloc
The representation of Iraqi women in the current parliament is the highest since the first session of the Iraqi parliament in 2006, especially with regard to their obtaining qualified votes for a parliamentary seat without going through the quota system confirmed by the Iraqi constitution to ensure an effective feminist presence in political work.
The rise of 97 women to the new Iraqi Council of Representatives represented the most important advantage in the October 2021 elections, as it is the first of its kind since 2003 and an increase of 14 seats over the “quota” allocated for women in the Iraqi parliament, which is at least 25 percent.
Fifty-seven female candidates were able to win directly and obtain enough votes in the cities of Baghdad, Erbil, Nasiriyah, Diwaniyah, Najaf, Nineveh, Babil, Anbar, Kirkuk and Diyala, qualifying them to enter the Iraqi parliament without relying on the “ quota ” for women, while the “quota” included 40 female candidates.
Despite the allocation of the “quota” for women in the Iraqi election law, the representation of women within it did not exceed during the past electoral cycles the quota allotted to them for reasons related to nomination and organization of the “quota” and the powers of the head of the bloc to give the votes he obtained to the candidates who come after him, Which led to determining the number of ascendants to Parliament, including women.
Important representation in the government
In addition, the representation of Iraqi women in the current government headed by Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani is better compared to previous governments, as she obtained three ministries: Finance, Communications and Immigration, which are among the important and influential ministries in the life of the Iraqi citizen.
However, despite these developments in the empowerment of Iraqi women, their influence in political and economic decision-making and victory and mobilization for their issues is still not significant and influential in the Iraqi scene.
That’s not enough
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, said that increasing the representation of women is not enough, despite her strong welcome and encouragement to continue this matter, adding that women parliamentarians, regardless of affiliation, should unite on issues that concern women more and enhance their representation in Senior government positions, political parties and other influential positions, calling on the new Iraqi government to take advantage of the strong representation of women in parliament to promote its reform and development program, which in turn gives women more political influence.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General urged parliamentarians, women and men, to fully consider women’s concerns and interests in future legislation to positively impact the lives of Iraqi women and girls, as well as the parliament’s approval of a draft law against domestic violence that has been pending for several years.
Blackshart added that the international organization renews its commitment to promoting the principles of Security Council Resolution 1325 by ensuring that the voice of Iraqi women is heard and moving forward in creating an environment conducive to their full, equal and meaningful participation and representation in all areas of society, and stressed that “the new government can help in this progress by By strengthening the implementation of the second national action plan on Resolution 1325, everyone will benefit from a stronger representation of women in society.”
Member of Parliament, Ibtisam Al-Hilali revealed that there are efforts to form a women’s parliamentary bloc in the Iraqi parliament, while noting that the bloc will support women’s issues, family and children’s issues, adding that “there are 97 women in the Iraqi parliament and three women ministers, in addition to their holding the position of general manager in a number of State departments, indicating that the previous session witnessed the formation of a parliamentary bloc of women, but their decision was not in their hands because each deputy belongs to a particular bloc.
Al-Hilali added that the situation is currently different with the presence of many independent women parliamentarians who will have a decision on any issue and any bloc that is formed with women to defend the rights of women, the family and children, and stressed the need to form a parliamentary bloc of women in the current session of the House of Representatives to defend the rights of women and the family. There will be meetings to form such a bloc, even if it includes at least 50 women to have a voice in the Iraqi parliament.
Regarding the international efforts in this context, Al-Hilali indicated that there have been several meetings with the United Nations on this subject, “and we talked about the necessity of having a women’s bloc in the House of Representatives in order to address issues that concern women, the family and children.”
While the former Minister of Women, Bushra Al-Zwaini, considered that the victory of a large number of women in their votes places a great responsibility on them to address women’s issues, and said that society has proven that it believes in women’s issues, and therefore threw the ball in its court and that it should make more efforts and enact laws related to women’s affairs, “No. Especially since during the four electoral cycles, we did not find women parliamentarians who formed a bloc,” noting that their previous formation of a grouping in parliament was ineffective, and there was no figure who was able to gather all the women.
She added, “We, as parliamentarians, have failed to find this personality that can bring women together in the decision-making unit on the most urgent issues,” stressing the need for women to be at the level of responsibility that society bears. “There are 97 women and the number may increase through replacements who occupied ministerial positions.” .
Al-Zwaini added that if the Iraqi woman was able to form a lobby within Parliament and present a legally woven bill that reassures all parties and is able to reassure the other party and protect the child, then she can pass the test, considering that the test is in the Child Protection Law and if the woman is not able to enact this law, the failure will accompany her.
Clans and compound ignorance
Al-Zwaini acknowledged the difficulty of the task of women in an eastern country dominated by tribal tendencies, despite the fact that the number of women reaches one-third of the number of parliament members, noting that “what hinders the unity of the decision of women parliamentarians is the ideological difference and the love to stay in the parliament linked to the approval of the leader of the bloc and her fear of rebellion. The bloc that it supports in the next parliament, as well as personal weakness and ignorance of scientific knowledge in the field of law, sociology and religion, must persuade the other party, especially those who address family issues.”
The former deputy in the Iraqi parliament, Rizan Diller, sees the difficulty of liberating women in the House of Representatives from the opinion of their blocs in making fateful decisions, especially issues related to women and the family. A set of laws such as the Domestic Violence Law, the Child Law, and the amendment of some articles in the Iraqi Penal Code.”
While the former member of the Human Rights Commission, Bushra Al-Obeidi, ruled out that women would liberate themselves from their parties and pass issues that concern women, saying, “There was hope for a women’s meeting in the House of Representatives to form a women’s bloc, but I do not expect it to be resolved because female parliamentarians follow their parties and they work to satisfy their parties to ensure their candidacy in the next elections.
Al-Obeidi added that there are attempts to form a unified bloc to have the decision and the majority in Parliament, indicating that “the opportunity is available to them now because there are a large number of female deputies in Parliament, and if the bloc is formed, it will be the largest bloc in the House of Representatives.”