• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

Iraq child marriage bill would allow 9 years-old girls to wed, limit women's rights

Status
Not open for further replies.

ComputerMKII

Banned
May 8, 2011
25,915
2
0
France
twitter.com
Why

Iraq Child Marriage Bill Would Allow Girls To Wed, Severely Limit Women's Rights

BAGHDAD (AP) — A contentious draft law being considered in Iraq could open the door to girls as young as nine getting married and would require wives to submit to sex on their husband's whim, provoking outrage from rights activists and many Iraqis who see it as a step backward for women's rights.

The measure, aimed at creating different laws for Iraq's majority Shiite population, could further fray the country's divisions amid some of the worst bloodshed since the sectarian fighting that nearly ripped the country apart after the U.S.-led invasion. It also comes as more and more children under 18 get married in the country.

"That law represents a crime against humanity and childhood," prominent Iraqi human rights activist Hana Adwar told The Associated Press. "Married underage girls are subjected to physical and psychological suffering.

Iraqi law now sets the legal age for marriage at 18 without parental approval. Girls as young as 15 can be married only with a guardian's approval.

The proposed new measure, known as the Jaafari Personal Status Law, is based on the principles of a Shiite school of religious law founded by Jaafar al-Sadiq, the sixth Shiite imam. Iraq's Justice Ministry late last year introduced the draft measure to the Cabinet, which approved it last month despite strong opposition by rights groups and activists.

The draft law does not set a minimum age for marriage. Instead, it mentions an age in a section on divorce, setting rules for divorces of girls who have reached the age of 9 years in the lunar Islamic calendar. It also says that's the age girls reach puberty. Since the Islamic calendar year is 10 or 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, that would be the equivalent of 8 years and 8 months old. The bill makes the father the only parent with the right to accept or refuse the marriage proposal.

Critics of the bill believe that its authors slipped the age into the divorce section as a backhanded way to allow marriages of girls that young. Already, government statistics show that nearly 25 percent of marriages in Iraq involved someone under the age of 18 in 2011, up from 21 percent in 2001 and 15 percent in 1997. Planning Ministry spokesman Abdul-Zahra Hendawi said the practice of underage marriage is particularly prevalent in rural areas and some provinces where illiteracy is high.

Also under the proposed measure, a husband can have sex with his wife regardless of her consent. The bill also prevents women from leaving the house without their husband's permission, would restrict women's rights in matters of parental custody after divorce and make it easier for men to take multiple wives.

Parliament must still ratify the bill before it becomes law. That is unlikely to happen before parliamentary elections scheduled for April 30, though the Cabinet support suggests it remains a priority for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's administration. Al-Maliki is widely expected to seek a third term.

Baghdad-based analyst Hadi Jalo suggested that election campaigning might be behind the proposal.

"Some influential Shiite politicians have the impression that they should do their best to make any achievement that would end the injustice that had been done against the Shiites in the past," Jalo said.

The formerly repressed Shiite majority came to power after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led regime. Since then, Shiite religious and political leaders have encouraged followers to pour in millions into streets for religious rituals, a show of their strength.

Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan al-Shimmari, a Shiite, has brushed off the criticism of the bill. His office introduced a companion bill that calls for the establishment of special Shiite courts that would be tied to the sect's religious leadership.

Al-Shimmari insists that the bill is designed to end injustices faced by Iraqi women in past decades, and that it could help prevent illicit child marriage outside established legal systems.

"By introducing this draft law, we want to limit or prevent such practices," al-Shimmari said.

But Sunni female lawmaker Likaa Wardi believes it violates women's and children's rights and creates divisions in society.

"The Jaffari law will pave the way to the establishments of courts for Shiites only, and this will force others sects to form their own courts. This move will widen the rift among the Iraqi people," Wardi said.

New York-based Human Rights Watch also strongly criticized the law this week.

"Passage of the Jaafari law would be a disastrous and discriminatory step backward for Iraq's women and girls," deputy Middle East director Joe Stork said in a statement. "This personal status law would only entrench Iraq's divisions while the government claims to support equal rights for all."

It is unclear how much support the bill enjoys among Iraqi Shiites, but Jalo, the analyst, believes that it would face opposition from secular members of the sect.

Qais Raheem, a Shiite government employee living in eastern Baghdad, said the draft bill contradicts the principles of a modern society.

"The government officials have come up with this backward law instead of combating corruption and terrorism," said Raheem who has four children, including two teenage girls. "This law legalizes the rape and we should all reject it."
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/14/iraq-child-marriage-bill_n_4962247.html
 

Suen

Member
Sep 7, 2012
13,038
0
0
This is democracy too
It really is. Good to see the country heading into the right direction since 2003.

"The government officials have come up with this backward law instead of combating corruption and terrorism," said Raheem who has four children, including two teenage girls. "This law legalizes the rape and we should all reject it."

This makes too much sense. While Shia are being killed left and right the focus is on allowing people to marry 9 year old girls. Forget corruption everywhere, terrorism constantly targeted against the majority in the country, buildings roads, buildings schools and building hospitals. Let's focus on marrying kids and building football stadiums across the country.

This is what happens when you oppress a religious group so long; when the oppressor is removed the followers go in extreme mode in expressing their religion which they could previously get killed for. It will take decades before they cool down.

A good example of a country that has been going backwards in social aspects since the 70's. What a shitty country, fuck off to everyone there focused on shit like this.

Thanks USA and Britain. Bringing prosperity where ever you go as usual.
Let's not blame this on them. You can blame USA and Britain for lots of problems going on in Iraq now but this is not one of the things.
 

Velcro Fly

Member
May 10, 2012
17,854
289
860
We bankrupted America and sent thousands of troops over there to die or come back maimed physically or mentally and this is what we get. I just don't get it.
 

F#A#Oo

Banned
Apr 4, 2006
6,600
0
0
London...
.Let's not blame this on them. You can blame USA and Britain for lots of problems going on in Iraq now but this is not one of the things.

Since the invasion there has been more sectarian violence amongst Kurds, Sunni and Shi'a.

Britain and American intentionally instigated the divide by playing all sides against each other socially and politically. Instead of working out the differences America and Britain went as far as dividing up the country.

This is one of many results from that mishandling.

People want to talk about the threat Iran faces but Iraq has never been closer to Iran than it has now. Who would have thought it that would be the case prior to the invasion?

Al Qaeda has even grown bigger from the invasion.
It's just a big joke now.
 

Suen

Member
Sep 7, 2012
13,038
0
0
Since the invasion there has been more sectarian violence amongst Kurds, Sunni and Shi'a.

Britain and American intentionally instigated the divide by playing all sides against each other socially and politically. Instead of working out the differences America and Britain went as far as dividing up the country.

This is one of many results from that mishandling.

People want to talk about the threat Iran faces but Iraq has never been closer to Iran than it has now. Who would have thought it that would be the case prior to the invasion?

Al Qaeda has even grown bigger from the invasion.
It's just a big joke now.
I'm not disagreeing with any of those things. I'm saying that this is something that goes right down to the mentality that already exists among a portion of Shia muslims. This is not something that just popped up 2003 and onwards. You can argue that the effect of the divide and conquer from the western world has significantly increased the chances of laws like these being instigated because suddenly it's "Shia Laws" or "Kurds laws" or "Sunni laws", laws that may have never passed let alone been considered if the country was one single entity, fine. However, that is taking lots of blame off from the people themselves. Remove the invasion and it would still be some saying "We want this law but the state will kill us if we suggest it" or "We want this law but majority will disagree so it won't be passed". What I'm trying to say is that you already have a problem that goes down to the culture or to be more specific religious interpretation.

We bankrupted America and sent thousands of troops over there to die or come back maimed physically or mentally and this is what we get. I just don't get it.
You weren't welcomed to begin with and still aren't.
 

markot

Banned
Aug 21, 2008
18,838
0
0
Since the invasion there has been more sectarian violence amongst Kurds, Sunni and Shi'a.

Britain and American intentionally instigated the divide by playing all sides against each other socially and politically. Instead of working out the differences America and Britain went as far as dividing up the country.

This is one of many results from that mishandling.

People want to talk about the threat Iran faces but Iraq has never been closer to Iran than it has now. Who would have thought it that would be the case prior to the invasion?

Al Qaeda has even grown bigger from the invasion.
It's just a big joke now.
Yes. Its the US's fault. Saddam played no role over his decades long rule in cementing secterian divides by committing war crimes against the shias and kurds.

The US and co didnt 'intentionally' instigate anything. It was a pressure cooker that blew its lid when Saddam was toppled and his fear no longer ruled. Saddam built his reign on secterian divides and massacring the Kurds and Shia into submission.
 

Kenshin001

Member
Feb 2, 2010
5,545
0
0
Tokyo
twitter.com
You think the people of Iraq owe you something for doing that?

I think he is saying it was waste given after a brutal dictactor was removed the Iraqi people proceeded to wage war on one another and are now proposing laws that are not fit for a civilised society. Rather than take that opportunity to build a better society they squandered it.
 

Nikodemos

Member
May 25, 2013
8,444
223
690
The US and co didnt 'intentionally' instigate anything. It was a pressure cooker that blew its lid when Saddam was toppled and his fear no longer ruled. Saddam built his reign on secterian divides and massacring the Kurds and Shia into submission.
This is sadly the case with many multi-ethnic/religious dictatorships, since the easiest way to play favourites is ethnic/religious discrimination. It's probably why Assad still draws breath; his death would blow the roof off.
 

Velcro Fly

Member
May 10, 2012
17,854
289
860
You think the people of Iraq owe you something for doing that?

No I think America should have stayed the fuck out of there to begin with.

I think he is saying it was waste given after a brutal dictactor was removed the Iraqi people proceeded to wage war on one another and are now proposing laws that are not fit for a civilised society. Rather than take that opportunity to build a better society they squandered it.

Although even this would have been much preferred. I think the Iraqi people owe it to themselves to create a better society, not pass laws to sanction rape.
 

Sutton Dagger

Member
Feb 22, 2010
6,036
0
0
Australia
So what? It's their country, their elected parliament, their social norms. I don't see a problem.

This post is exactly why moral relativism is a terrible position. Have you honestly thought about this for more than a couple of minutes, because it doesn't take long to spot the issues with your take on this?
 

wsippel

Banned
May 25, 2006
14,529
0
0
Erfurt, Germany
We bankrupted America and sent thousands of troops over there to die or come back maimed physically or mentally and this is what we get. I just don't get it.
Invading a country, removing the government, destroying a lot of the infrastructure, causing collateral damage and leaving everything in chaos declaring "victory" doesn't work and never worked. Iraq wasn't liberated, all the US mission managed to accomplish was resetting the clock.
 

Solid warrior

Banned
Jul 15, 2009
2,006
0
0
This post is exactly why moral relativism is a terrible position. Have you honestly thought about this for more than a couple of minutes, because it doesn't take long to spot the issues with your take on this?
Iraqi people are shaking their heads when they know that people in the west have sex before marriage and that gay people are getting married. They think that the west is morally corrupt. Different perspective.

I don't think that the Iraqi people have ever forced their social norms on the west.

Personally, I don't care whatever they want to do with themselves. It's their families, their people, their women, their parliament and their social norms. They know what's right and wrong from their own perspective, just like you think you know the right and wrong.
 

dan2026

Member
Jul 10, 2012
11,213
1
0
Iraqi people are shaking their heads when they know that people in the west have sex before marriage and that gay people are getting married. They think that the west is morally corrupt. Different perspective.

I don't think that the Iraqi people have ever forced their social norms on the west.

Personally, I don't care whatever they want to do with themselves. It's their families, their people, their women, their parliament and their social norms. They know what's right and wrong from their own perspective, just like you think you know the right and wrong.

I know that bigotry is wrong.
I know that treating women as a lesser class is wrong.
And I know that a child of 9 isn't mentally mature enough to be married.

Morality should be universal.
 

raphanum

Member
Feb 20, 2013
686
0
575
Australia
I know that bigotry is wrong.
I know that treating women as a lesser class is wrong.
And I know that a child of 9 isn't mentally mature enough to be married.

Morality should be universal.

But there are no innate set of morals that we're all born with. This marriage bill is sickening and deplorable to us, yes, but they obviously don't see it that way.
 

Kenshin001

Member
Feb 2, 2010
5,545
0
0
Tokyo
twitter.com
Iraqi people are shaking their heads when they know that people in the west have sex before marriage and that gay people are getting married. They think that the west is morally corrupt. Different perspective.

I don't think that the Iraqi people have ever forced their social norms on the west.

Personally, I don't care whatever they want to do with themselves. It's their families, their people, their women, their parliament and their social norms. They know what's right and wrong from their own perspective, just like you think you know the right and wrong.

Iraqis are also opposed to the bill though. There are even Iraqis quoted in the article so it's not some blanket social norm different from prevailing Western morality.
 

GoldenEye 007

Member
Jul 28, 2006
23,805
0
0
The Big D
But there are no innate set of morals that we're all born with. This marriage bill is sickening and deplorable to us, yes, but they obviously don't see it that way.
I'm sure science and psychology of brain development and human free will could define why this is universally wrong.

Thus proving this bill is a core defect of the culture.

Cultural norms are not always ok just because they're cultural or traditional. Hopefully rationality prevails and the bill is defeated.
 

YoungHav

Banned
Nov 12, 2008
10,601
0
0
There is such a thing as universal morality, and I think rape falls under that. Just because it's state sanctioned and the oppressive party in power (men) ok's it doesn't mean it's not immoral. Go ask the victims of this bill how they feel about it.

I'm not for the U.S. going gungho and sending troops back because there is absolutely nothing altruistic about warfare (not the Iraq or Afghanistan War was just). There are Iraqi's against this and it's there revolution to fight.

And it's not like the U.S. even takes rape (child or adult) remotely seriously either... Rape a child and ruin there life forever, you'll be back on the street within 5yrs to abuse more children. Get caught with a pound of weed and you'll be doing decades depending on the state.
 

Einhander

Member
May 4, 2011
3,716
0
0
9-year-old brides is a sickening notion, and it angers me so much that such a bill would be written. I feel for all the Iraqi women and young girls who have to suffer from discrimination, abuse, and hardship.
 

wildfire

Banned
Jun 5, 2011
15,914
1
0
Al-Shimmari insists that the bill is designed to end injustices faced by Iraqi women in past decades, and that it could help prevent illicit child marriage outside established legal systems.

Bullshit or gross stupidity. I hope the latter otherwise this bill won't get skewered for being the legal rape bill that it is.

Kids however do not possess the mental capacity to understand such situations and can be exploited by adults, particularly in cases of sex and marriage, even more so considering these laws allows these things to happen to 9-year-olds. Allowing them to get married and basically be forced to have sex at a man's whim is nothing other than sexual abuse no matter where you go or look, as according to their cognitive development, and is nothing less than state-sanctioned rape..

It hasn't gotten to that point.
 

Oersted

Member
Mar 14, 2012
32,328
1
0
Invading a country, removing the government, destroying a lot of the infrastructure, causing collateral damage and leaving everything in chaos declaring "victory" doesn't work and never worked. Iraq wasn't liberated, all the US mission managed to accomplish was resetting the clock.

Can we please stop using that term.
 

xenist

Member
Mar 9, 2012
6,420
0
0
You see people, democracy besides being the best political system is also the worst. Especially when it hasn't emerged through an organic process of centuries long social changes.
 
Jun 22, 2012
9,121
9
730
Canada
Nothing "cultural" about marrying off 9 year olds and raping women, there are plenty of Arab countries that have stopped this practice. It is like saying beating your wife is cultural in Europe because people did it 200 years ago. It is time to move on.
 

entremet

Member
Dec 6, 2008
85,707
385
1,585
Hopefully stuff like this and Egypt and Afghanistan teach us not prop up governments anymore.
 

xenist

Member
Mar 9, 2012
6,420
0
0
Hopefully stuff like this and Egypt and Afghanistan teach us not prop up governments anymore.

Hah. The Sykes-Picot Agreement sparked a century of strife in the middle east and no one seems to have learned anything from it. Why would they now?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.