On March 8, 2020, let’s rise against degradation of women and sexual abuse of female children!!
Freedom and equality -seeking women and men!
Defenders of women’s and children’s rights!
We congratulate all women and men on March 8, as a day which marks the protest against gender inequality, discrimination and oppression against women. Despite the fact that some individual and civil rights and basic demands of women have been achieved in some advanced countries as the result of the relentless struggle by the working class and the progressive movements, oppression, discrimination and violence against women continue under the capitalist system. Therefore, the struggle to end economic and social gender inequality is inseparable from the struggle to overthrow the capitalist system and build a free and equal society free of gender discrimination and oppression.
In the current circumstances in Kurdistan, in addition to high unemployment rate, high prices, widespread poverty and lack of basic social services, regularly delayed and unpaid wages, astronomical levels of corruption and religious laws and reactionary and male chauvinist culture, women are subjected to the worse kinds of discrimination, oppression, sexual apartheid and sexual harassment.
It is undeniable that in Kurdistan ruled by the Kurdish nationalist movement, women are not only deprived of their most basic rights, but they face killing, abuse, discrimination, humiliation, harassment, forced marriages of under-aged girls and many other atrocities and hardships on a daily basis so much so that many women resort to suicide through setting themselves on fire. Recently we were all shocked that an 8 year old child was sexually abused and the perpetrators of this heinous crime were freed on bail by the authorities. Moreover, the killers of women are set free through a general amnesty according to a resolution by the parliament. Clerics are free to use mosques as platforms to abuse women. This clearly proves that the political system which rules Kurdistan is a system which defends discrimination, male chauvinism and violations against the dignity of men and women. This system compromises and cooperates with the Islamic currents and Islamic clerics who pack the ministry of endowments and are funded from the public revenue of people in Kurdistan. Therefore any effort to bring a change to the lives of women and children and end this inhumane situation has to be directed against the Kurdistan regional government and the two ruling armed parties in Kurdistan; Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
Despite all discrimination, misogyny and violation of women’s rights in Kurdistan, the voice of equality and freedom loving women and men in Kurdistan can be loudly heard in defense of women’s rights and for ending oppression against women. As the first step, this movement wants to set a limit to verbal aggression and degradation of women and children and to criminalize any verbal insults against women through the law and change the misogynist culture in society. We call on all freedom and equality seeking men and women inside Kurdistan and abroad to unite in this struggle and fight with determination to protect the society. On March 8 this year, we in the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees will do our best to provide legal support and advice to asylum seeking women in Europe and to support them in their hardships and help them overcome isolation, alleviate their pains and help them establish new lives. We will strive to end threats against the lives of asylum seeking women and against domestic violence, honour killing and the cultural, political and legal factors which promote and perpetuate these practices. The IFIR strongly supports the equality and freedom seeking movement in Kurdistan in fight to protect women’s and children’s rights. It struggles to gain international support to end the killing of women and to end violence and discrimination against women and to securee all civil and human rights of women.
The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees-IFIR supports the effort to establish an independent women’s organization that defends their rights. It strives to organize a progressive movement that relies on the direct will and power of the masses of people. The initiative by the activists seeking freedom and equality is essential to achieve this goal. This is the only way to secure the rights and liberties of women and men in Kurdistan.
In order to make change in situation of women in Kurdistan, the International Federation of Iraqi refuges supports the following demands on March 8,2020:
1- Enact laws to prohibit promoting violence against women and prevent clerics and public figures from degrading women.
2- Prohibit all forms of abuse against children and perpetrators of such crimes to face appropriate legal consequences.
3- Perpetrators of homicide crimes against women must be brought to justice as perpetrators of serious crimes and should not be included in any public amnesty.
4- Personal Status Law in Kurdistan including the law which legalize the practice of polygamy based on Islamic Sharia must be abolished
We call on all individuals and organizations who supports these demands and struggle to better the lives of women in Kurdistan to support the voice of freedom and equality seeing women’s movement.
The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees-IFIR
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