There have been several achievements in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein regime in terms of women’s participation in social life and empowerment as well as people’s participation in political process, but a lot more needs to be done, noted a former Iraqi parliamentarian.
Speaking to Gulf Times on the concluding day of Georgetown University’s conference ‘The Invasion of Iraq: Regional Reflections,’ Ala Talabani, co-founder , High Council for Iraqi Women noted that Iraqi women had to go through several hardships over the course of time.
“We had to go through the dictatorship of one party which took more time to get the women participate in the political arena. Slowly we started including certain percentage for the Iraqi women in the parliament and presently it is 25% in the constitution. Now you can see about 85 women in the parliament which makes them join the political life and be part of the decision making areas,” explained Talabani.
However, she noted that there are several challenges in passing certain legislations which touches women’s lives or the society in several areas.
As for the conference, the politician said that these types of meetings and conferences are important for Iraqis especially for those who live inside their country. “We hold such meetings among ourselves but it is good to hear others and their perspectives to understand how they differ from or are similar to our views. With all these views we feel that we have achieved something good, facing challenges, threats and many more. The conference has provided a better view and a wider view on Iraq,” she highlighted.
Talabani said Iraq is facing two major issues currently. “We need to review the constitution and change many articles in the constitution for providing the basic rights of the Iraqi people and equal rights. Then we have to be the decision makers of the country and its foreign policy, not outsiders. There are lots of will among people for a change in the constitution but the political parties and the government have to take the call,” she added.