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3 - Re-Living Yesterday’s Battles

Women and Constitution-Making in Post-Saddam Iraq

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 March 2019

Ruth Rubio-Marín
Universidad de Sevilla
Helen Irving
University of Sydney
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Explores the history of women’s participation in constitution-making in Iraq, following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and outlines the strategies women have adopted to have their aspirations for constitutional equality heard. The chapter describes the early promises on the part of the transitional authorities to deliver constitutional equality that were quickly disappointed. It discusses the clash between secular-oriented women's rights activists and religious participants, in particular regarding interpretations of Islamic law. It argues that the gains that were made by Iraqi women under the US-brokered constitution, through the adoption of gender quotas for election to the legislature, were wiped out by regressive provisions regarding religion, family law and personal status. Building on a history of women’s status in Iraq, it concludes that, for the second time in a hundred years Iraqi women's rights were ‘sold out’.
Women as Constitution-Makers
Case Studies from the New Democratic Era
, pp. 153 - 189
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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