The woman in Iraqi Penal Code

The woman in Iraqi Penal Code

Judge Amer Hassan Shantah

2018-10-25 12:12:00




The  issues of the woman has growing  importance over the ages. The women's movements and their supporters struggle to achieve the equality with the man in rights and the duties. The feminism has appeared in the western societies for the first time then it has turned into global phenomena. In this respect, the international agreement and charters were enacted such as CEDAW.  Iraq approved to accession this convention according to Act No.(66) of 1986 with its reservation of some sections.

The woman supporters stated that they seek to eliminate the forms of  oppression  related to gender. It appears in simple definition in men and woman's features which are formalized socially  and biologically such as reproduction. they consider the woman is the type that needs to modify its social role.

Based on the aforementioned,  many people have written about their perception to empower the woman in economic, social, political,  and legal fields. These ideas have been translated into texts approved by the constitutions includes Iraqi constitution, based on . Article (14)of it stipulates "Iraqis are equal before the law without discrimination based on gender…." And article (29/4) of it stipulates "all forms of violence and abuse in the family, state and society shall be prohibited."

Regarding to legislations, practically all laws contains the provisions relevant to woman such as civil code, personal status act ,national act, election act and others. If consideration the attitude of lawmaker over the woman issues in all these laws , this article will stray from its purposes so that we will focus on the lawmaker attitude towards woman in penal code only. We think its provisions  related to woman's right to life and bodily integrity are important. Many of its texts confirm the equality of men and women in rights and duties also they are balanced and subjective in respect to woman . in addition they contains  a strong protection for woman in rape and  indecent assault  crimes and prohibition the detention of women for unpremeditated crimes( the revolutionary  command council decision  (resolved)No.101 of 1999) yet, they contain the provisions which are considered by defenders of the woman's rights to be  a severe abuse for all international charters of the woman's rights and a clear waste of her humanitarian dignity such as the right of husband to discipline his wife that is stated  in article (41/1) of Penal Code. This article enabled the husband to discipline his wife and it is along with the minor children, article (427)  related to cease the legal actions or cease the sentence against kidnapper if he married to kidnapped, article (398) considers  a marriage is an excuse to commute the punishment against actors of rape crime, the provisions of the article (377) differs in criminalization of adultery between a wife and a husband  since it criminalize adulterous wife   at all, otherwise , the husband is criminalized only  when he commits adultery in marital home and the provision related to murder for honor and others. Although,  the view of Iraqi lawmaker for a woman  is subjective and balanced, some of the texts are not represented this view and are beside the man. It is required to review these texts in order to modify  to come in line with  the international charters and to preserve the woman's life  and her humanitarian dignity. The reservation of Iraq on paragraphs ( f - g  )of article (2)of CEDAW which regarding the elimination all forms of discrimination against woman in the national legislations and provisions, doesn't prevent to  conclude the required amendment  of the Penal Code. As long as  , Iraq  has undertaken  that in accordance with international covenant on civil and political rights  without reservation and as long as these amendments according to the constitution that ensured the equality  for all Iraqis.




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