ERBIL — Kurdistan Region Parliament has rejected the draft law by Iraqi Shi’ite factions to amend the Personal Status Law in Iraq, saying it allows child marriage and is against the women’s rights.
“The draft law allows the marriage of even 9-years-old girls, which is obviously against the internationally-recognised women’s and children’s rights,” said MP Fairooza Taha, Deputy Head of Kurdistan Parliamentary Committee for Human Rights.
She, however, made it clear that such decisions made by the Iraqi parliament are not enforceable in the Kurdistan Region due to the fact that Kurds have their own government and parliament to legislate and enforce laws.
Earlier the day, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) expressed concern over the draft law amending the Personal Status Law Number 188 of 1959, saying that “inclusive and wide consultations over these amendments are necessary to ensure that women’s rights are fully respected and protected”.
“I call upon the Council of Representatives to seize this opportunity of the process to amend the Personal Status Law, repeatedly criticized by the United Nations treaty bodies, and conduct a wider consultation on the draft amendments in a participatory manner to recommit to and ensure the full respect, protection and fulfillment of women and girls’ rights in Iraq in relation to matrimonial and other matters,” Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq Ján Kubiš said.