The deterioration of women and girls’ status in Iraq has been a result of increasing social and political conservatism, which in turn is an outcome of intersecting political, economic, social, class-related, and geographic factors. Public authorities – legislators, judges, policymakers, and mullahs – codify discriminatory laws and establish, perpetuate and disseminate specific interpretations of laws that maintain patriarchal forms of masculinity. This project will examine how current domestic Iraqi laws discriminate against women and girls in theory and in practice.
To this end, it will assess both public authorities’ interpretation of laws affecting women and girls’ rights and gender roles and analyse their experiences of their country’s legal system. In this way, the research aims to faciliate a better understanding of the underlying factors that lead to institutional and legal unaccountability, the prevalence of patriarchy in legal practices and the impact this has on women and girls’ lived experiences. It will shed light on the reasons for delays or obstacles to institutionalisation and the strengthening of the rule of law in Iraq and offer potential strategies to overcome this.
This project forms part of the Conflict Research Programme, funded by the UK Department for International Development to provide research and policy advice on how the risk and impact of violent conflict might be more effectively reduced through development and governance interventions. It is being conducted in collaboration with Al-Amal Association, Iraqi Women's Network and Public Aid Organisation.
Anfal Abed | Team Lead
Anfal is the Projects Director of Public Aid Organisation and the team lead on Patriarchal Norms and Legal Discrimination against Women and Girls in Iraq. Previously, she worked on gender-based violence in conflicted-affected areas in Iraq.
Marwa Al Delfi | Researcher
Marwa is a lawyer and a researcher on the MEC project Patriarchal Norms and Legal Discrimination Against Women and Girls in Iraq.