In the midst of the current heated conflict in Iraq in preparation for the elections of the House of Representatives on the twelfth of the next month of May, the Iraqi election campaign is witnessing new methods of political wrangling and social abuse against a number of female candidates. Videos were circulated through social networks, targeting candidates to tarnish their reputation in order to influence the results of the upcoming elections, such as the scandalous video attributed to Dr. Intisar Al-Shammari, a candidate on behalf of the list of (Victory) which reports to the Iraqi Prime Minister.
Despite the denunciations received from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ján Kubiš, and many civil society organizations concerned with the rights and advancement of women, the fierce campaign against women continues to be aggravated to spread panic among female candidates and exclude them from active participation in political life.
The Coalition of Women MPs from Arab Countries to Combat Violence against Women condemns this fierce onslaught of violence, taking into consideration that the coalition has placed all forms of violence against women within its legislative priorities to prevent this scourge. As well, the ‘Arab Convention to Combat Violence against Women and Girls and Domestic Violence’ launched by the Coalition on 1 December 2016 at the headquarters of the Arab League includes the promotion of an integrated Arabic regional system for prevention and for combating violence against women, girls and domestic violence. It also includes agreements, mechanisms, strategies, and action plans. …
For this reason, the Coalition of Women MPs from Arab Countries is appealing to the Iraqi government and the international community to address such suspicious campaigns against the dignity of women and the future of their participation in political life. It also implores the political parties to protect their candidates from abuses so that women can take their active role in Political life, influence the decision-making process, and improve the laws that will elevate the lives of Iraqi women towards the best.
The image of Iraqi women, the offspring of one on the most ancient civilizations, will remain as bright and as white as ever.
Attorney Wafa’ Bani Mustafa
the Chairperson of the Coalition of Women MPs from Arab Countries to Combat Violence against Women