We will now examine the reproductive rights of women of Iraq. Before looking at the reproductive rights we should first understand women’s rights in general in this country. Women in Middle Eastern countries have more restrictions against them than women in many other parts of the world. The government’s laws are forbidden to go against the established rulings of Islam. Because the government and laws are constructed around the Islamic religion they tend to be very strict for women. Women have less freedom than men in Iraq which negatively impacts women's legal status in the labor code, criminal justice system, personal status, and mobility. Along with fewer freedoms, Iraqi women have limited access to priority reproductive health services.
In Iraq abortion is illegal and considered taboo. Because of this law people have been forced to practice “home abortions” or seek help from illegal abortionist. This is a very dangerous procedure when it is not done professionally. Many women are using these abortions to escape death by an honor killing.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation advocates reproductive rights and health all over the world. In Iraq this organization is hoping to:
-- create a favorable climate for family planning
-- improve quality of care for safe motherhood and child health
-- provide family planning education for women
-- provide infertility treatment
Family planning and contraception is a key point when discussing reproductive rights. In Iraq a national policy regarding access to contraception has been assured since 1993. Although contraception in Iraq is available, the rates in which women use the contraception are not very high. The contraceptive rate was only 32% in 2000. Being a country that is currently a war zone it is difficult to keep up the funds and research regarding family planning.
Do you think it is right to go against the Iraqi culture to grant more reproductive rights for women?
Do you think legalizing abortion in Iraq would make a change in the role or status of women?
Posted by: Kayla Guelli
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