Tuesday 3 February 2009

Mixed picture for women in Iraqi elections

Following on from this post about the dire state of women's rights in Iraq, some accounts of last week's provincial elections have suggested a more hopeful picture, with religious parties losing ground, and more women candidates standing than ever before. This report from MSNBC was one of many to put a generally upbeat slant on the prospects for Iraqi women:

A more complex picture is presented by this Guardian report, which cites threats to female candidates and suggests that some women were pressurised to stand in order to fulfil a quota. And it's pretty depressing that women running for office in these elections felt they had to wear a veil in order to gain acceptance: though even that, it seems, was not enough to prevent many of them having their campaign posters torn down or defaced.

More optimism - from Max. I hope he's right.

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