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Fighting Violence Against Women And For Their Rights In Iraq

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    In the early days, there was a clear dichotomy between the roles of a man and a woman. The jobs of hunting and fighting naturally fell to males, who are physically stronger, while females were in charge of Housekeeping and child-rearing. As time passed, the requirement of physical strength to carry out work diminished. Despite this, females were still exclusively the ones staying at home. Modern workplaces also tend to favour characteristically male traits, such as aggressiveness.

    As a result of all this, males have traditionally been seen as superior to their female counterparts. Since men feel entitled to do so, acts of violence are committed against women, both at home and in the workplace. These acts of violence range from domestic to sexual violence, and usually result in physical and psychological harms[1]. In recent years, more has been done to empower women across the globe. Most countries have adopted legislation criminalising acts of violence against women and the increasingly famous #MeToo movement deals with the issue of sexual harassment[2].

    Iraq believes that it is imperative to empower women and to prevent them from becoming victims of violence. We have implemented quotas for female parliamentarians, which ensure the representation of women so that their interests are not ignored during law-making. However, Iraq would also like to clarify that we have more pressing issues to attend to, such as recovering from the civil war that recently devastated the country, meaning we do not have many resources available. That being said, the Iraqi government, especially the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, will do everything in their power to aid women in their fight for equality.

    The root cause of the problem is the attitude that men are inherently better than women, which is regrettably still prevalent. Especially in places where women may not have access to good education or opportunities, it is very difficult for them to dispel misogynistic beliefs. This is even more so when confirmation bias is taken into consideration — the moment one woman makes a mistake, everyone takes it that all women are therefore incapable. A challenge that undermines the effectiveness of legislative measures to prevent violence is that of victim shaming. Women who are abused are oftentimes afraid to speak out for they fear they will be frowned upon by their communities or they may even view themselves as the ones to blame[3][4].

    The most effective way of dealing with this is to change people’s mindsets regarding the role of women in society. This can be done through increasing educational and job opportunities for women, affirmative action measures or actively teaching men about how vital women are for society to function. Iraq also encourages other countries, especially LEDC’s, to consider following her example in setting a quota for the number of women in governmental bodies. Alongside this, governments should also try to outlaw violence against women if it is possible and would be effective. In order to incentivise women to speak up more, it is crucial that governments create precedents and teach women that it is not their fault they were the victims of violence. Considering the large role NGO’s play[5], governments could also help streamline the processes they have to undergo to provide help to victims of violence

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