The Stream

Why hasn’t Iraq adopted any laws against domestic violence?

On Wednesday, February 15 at 19:30 GMT:
Iraqi women’s rights activists are speaking out against the murder of 22-year-old YouTube vlogger Tiba al-Ali, who was allegedly strangled by her own father. The so-called “honour killing” has led to renewed calls for Iraq’s government to enact laws against domestic violence.

For years, a draft domestic violence law has been stalled in parliament. Women’s rights advocates say Iraq’s existing laws are too lenient toward those who commit gender-based violence and allow husbands to “discipline” their wives with beatings. In other cases, the law permits reduced sentences for men who kill or permanently injure their wives or female relatives in the case of adultery.

Those advocating for explicit criminalisation of gender-based violence also say that more needs to be done to strengthen the social safety net for women and girls at risk.

What impact could recognising domestic violence have on the safety of Iraqi women? In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at what more should be done to protect women and girls in Iraq.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Marsin Alshamary, @MarsinRA
Nonresident fellow, Brookings Institution

Hanaa Edwar
Co-founder, Iraqi Al-Amal Association

Ruwayda Mustafah, @RuwaydaMustafah
Political activist