Iraq: Shadow Report on UN Universal Periodic Review

Publication Date: 
February, 2010

Stakeholder Report the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Process by Karama - Feb. 2010

1. Executive Summary

1.1 Improvements since 2005

Iraq has demonstrated certain efforts to improve the human rights of women in these past four years. The quota in effect for elections of 2005 and 2009 increased women's representation in national and provincial legislative bodies to 25%, one of the highest levels in the region. Also, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq amended its Personal Status Law in 2008 to place restrictions on polygamy, created emergency shelters to provide a measure of protection to women from violence, established a Cabinet-level Committee on Violence against Women, and set up a Directorate to Follow up Violence against Women in each KRG governorate.

1.2 Violence against women remains a major human rights concern
However, among the areas of human rights concerns in Iraq, the environment for women's safety from violence and the threats to women's security are worse in many ways than they were four years ago: honor killings in Iraq occur at one of the highest frequency levels in the Arab Region, domestic violence still occurs with grave impunity, the Personal Status Law of 1959 is weakened by Article 39 in the new constitution, and in the Northern Region of Kurdistan the harmful tradition of female genital mutilation is tolerated and practiced with impunity.

1.3 Recommendations for actions by the State

Several key measures for action by the State to improve the human rights of women and girls and their safety from violence include:

1.3.1 Amend the penal code to remove mitigating factors from the punishment of honor-related crimes against women

1.3.2 Draft, approve, and enforce laws against domestic violence Repeal Article 39 from the new Iraqi constitution

1.3.3 Withdraw the State's reservations to CEDAW, particularly on Article 2 and Article 9

Read full report: