Barzani protests Iraqi Parliament's child marriage law during campaign to end violence against women

Barzani protests Iraqi Parliament's child marriage law during campaign to end violence against women

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will put forward more efforts to prevent violence against women in the Kurdistan Region, Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said on Monday.

An event was held in Erbil to mark the international day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, where many Kurdish officials and foreign dignitaries and representatives were present and expressed their support for the promotion of women’s rights in the region.

Barzani announced the government would increase its efforts to rescue Yezidi (Ezidi) women who remain in captivity since their abduction by the Islamic State (IS) in August 2014.

“It has been over a decade since we launched a campaign to end violence against women and our efforts continue,” he said.

The Parliament of Iraq in Baghdad earlier this month in principle approved a draft bill which allows for girls as young as nine-years-old to be married off.

Barzani called on the federal government, civil society, and all parties across the board to help prevent “by any means necessary” the passage of a bill that would allow for child marriage to become law in Iraq.

He also requested the Kurdistan Region’s Parliament exclude those who commit ‘honor killings’ from the general amnesty rule, preventing those who murder women from being pardoned.

In spite of the KRG’s efforts to eliminate violence against women, the number of cases still remains high.

Since the start of 2017, 2,800 domestic violence complaints were registered in the Erbil province, with 70 percent of them being issued by women and 30 percent of them by men. The information was provided by the Directorate for combating violence against women in Erbil.

In Sulaimani province, the number remains comparatively low with 923 cases registered this year, 28 of which were murders or suicide cases.

Barzani mentioned that since 2001, honor killings have been handled like all other murder cases. He also noted that the legal age for marriage was raised to eighteen so that girls could continue their studies and grow and develop as individuals.