Outrage as Iraqi women’s affairs minister opposes equality for women

By Mufid Abdulla:

Abtihal Alzidi

Abtihal Alzidi: "I am against women's equality"

Last week Abtihal Alzidi, the Iraqi minister for women’s affairs in Nuri Al Maliki’s government, told a local news agency that she does not believe in equality between women and men in Iraq.

”I am against the equality between men and woman”, she said. “If women are equal to men they are going to lose a lot. Up to now I am with the power of the man in society. If I go out of my house, I have to tell my husband where I am going. This does not mean diluting the role of woman in society but, on the contrary, it will bring more power to the woman as a mother who looks after their kids and brings up their children”.

This statement has caused a lot of outrage. MP Mrs Hala Safia asked the deputy of the Iraqi parliament to call the women’s affairs minister to parliament for questioning. Hala Safia’s father was assassinated by Saddam’s thugs in Beirut in the 1980s and she has since become active in politics, working with Dr Alawi’s Aleraqia list. She is married to the Kurdish human rights activist Bhaktyar Ameen.

The Organisation for Woman’s Emancipation in Iraq also condemned Abtihal Alzidi’s outrageous statement and called for the dissolution of her ministerial department.

According to Article 14 of the Iraqi constitution all Iraqis are equal, regardless of their sex, religion, colour, ethnicity, origin and tribe.

Does Abtihal Alzidi not realise the new role of women in today’s politics? Denmark’s and Germany’s prime ministers are women. Margaret Thatcher was a prime minster for 12 years. In Sweden, women hold 25 per cent of managerial roles (compared to 6 per cent in the UK).

Without the participation of women in the workforce, the growth and prosperity of the nation cannot be achieved. The Iraqi women’s affairs minister is reflecting the backward thinking of some individuals of the Shia tribe with her regressive attitude towards women.  Abtihal Alzidi should resign now and apologise for her deplorable remarks towards half of the society.

We can go on from the above to conclude that:

  1. The political class running Iraq is nothing other than a shadow of the Iranians, believing in Shia government.
  2. The standard of the politicians nowadays running the Iraqi government and in charge of people’s daily lives is not much different in mentality from Saddam’s regime.
  3. Politics cannot work under the rule of the current Iraqi cabinet of Nuri Al Maliki and the unity of Iraq is fragmented because of these types of attitudes to human rights issues, etc.

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