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 Demonstration against Polygamy in Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan

 Source : wadinet de  - Thomas von derOsten-Sacken
  Kurd Net does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news information on this page

 


Demonstration against Polygamy in Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan  27.11.2008 





While Kurdistan government celebrates women's rights campaign, Kurds protest.
“Why 20 Million Kurds in Turkey live without Polygamy and 3,5 Million Kurds in Iraq should have it?”


November 27, 2008


Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', —  Various independent Kurdish Rights have gathered in a initiative called 25th of November to step up activities against a law that recently passed the Kurdish Parliament. This law allows polygamy with some restrictions.

The 25th of November activists have therefore called for a boycott of all Kurdish Governmental sponsored celebrations Tuesday. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has held a week of conferences and activities against “Violence against Women” culminating Tuesday in a celebration which was attended by Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. Barzani has recently outraged secular Kurds with a statement that no Kurdish law should contradict Sharia.

Although being invited to the celebration nine organizations decided to boycott these festivities. And hold a demonstration instead. Various groups and individuals expressed their solidarity and support - both from inside Iraqi-Kurdistan,
www.ekurd.net Iraq and abroad. They are demanding that the law has to be re-discussed.

Tuesday members of the initiative gathered in Nahli-Park in Sulaimaniyah for protest. With slogans like “Why 20 Million Kurds in Turkey live without Polygamy and 3,5 Million in Iraq should have it?”?” and “Silence about Polygamy is Violence against Women” they gathered at 2.pm. Both men and women were equally present.

“They want to tell us polygamy is belonging to our culture” a student says, “but then we ask ourselves: why the majority of Kurds in Turkey live without Polygamy and 3,5 Million in Iraq should have it?”

With an approximately total population of 20 million, Kurds in Turkey outnumber the ones in Iran, Syria and Iraq.

With stripes glued over their mouths the protestors kept silent during the whole duration of the demonstration.

“Today we have symbolically closed our mouths, so our cry could be heard louder“, explains Tara Hussein, member of the Sulaimaniyah based Women Rights NGO Women Law Center (WOLA).

“We want to show that the people who fight for the rights of women the other 364 days in the year keep silent today not joining the meaningless talk of the officials,
www.ekurd.net who are not doing enough to fight violence against women on the ground“, says Aram Jamal from the Kurdish Election Institute (KIE)

Such forms of creative protest have not been seen in Sulaimaniyah before. The action found an extremely positive resonance in the local media. Even today’s headlines of major Kurdish Rozhnama Newspaper were dedicated to this protest. ( Rozhname in Kurdish).

The 25th of November Initiative understands this demonstration, which was organized spontaneously and only within 48 hours, only as a starting point for a much larger campaign to ban polygamy.

“This action was planned and implemented in a very short time and almost without any money. We spend less than 100 Dollars on it, while the Government hast tens of thousands for conferences and seminars without any long term impact” Jamal smiles. “But we think this demonstration said more about what people here think and want than all official conferences and festivals together“.

It was the first demonstration Mrs. Hussein ever joined in her life. But she insists,
www.ekurd.net for sure, it will not be her last: “We are slowly learning how to make our voices heard, but still we have a lot to learn, since demonstration were not allowed under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, except in order to support him.”

A lady from Baghdad found a warm welcome, when she spontaneously joined the demonstration; expressing her hope that one day polygamy will be banned all over Iraq.                               

The 25th of November activists have called for a boycott of all Kurdish Governmental sponsored celebrations Tuesday.


We want to show that the people who fight for the rights of women the other 364 days in the year keep silent today not joining the meaningless talk of the Kurdish officials,


A lady from Baghdad found a warm welcome, when she spontaneously joined the demonstration; expressing her hope that one day polygamy will be banned all over Iraq.
Photo:Wadinet.de


Women demonstration against Polygamy in Sulaimaniyah, photo: Rozhname

Copyright, respective author or news agency, wadinet de   

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