Women's Rights in Iraq - Women's Social Life

Women's Social Life

Valentine M. Moghadam, author of Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Changes in the Middle East, argues that women were the first whose social life was affected by the economy and in cases of war. The "onset of the war with Iran brought about a toughening of the state's position on women." Women were not allowed to travel without their husbands, fathers, or guardians and their role was to bear children. In general in cases of war, as Nadje Sadig Al-Ali, author of Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present, argues, "women carried the conflicting double burden of being the main motors of the state bureaucracy and the public sector, the main breadwinners and heads of households but also the mothers of 'future soldiers.' Moreover, Saddam Hussein, "in an attempt to maintain legitimacy after the Gulf War by appeasing conservative patriarchal constituencies, brought in anti-woman legislation, such as the 1990 presidential decree granting immunity to men who had committed honour crimes." By legalizing these so-called honor killings, women's roles and their social status in the society were further undermined during Saddam Hussein's presidency.

As noted by Yasmin Husein, author of Women in Iraq, the traditional role of women in Iraq is confined mainly to domestic responsibilities and nurturing the family. The wide scale destruction of Iraq's infrastructure (i.e., sanitation, water supply and electricity) as a result of war and sanctions, worsened women's situation. Women, in the process, assumed extra burdens and domestic responsibilities in society, as opposed to their male counterparts.

Read more about this topic:  Women's Rights In Iraq

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