Mar 12, 2017

Female Iraqi MP wants legislation encouraging polygamy with financial bonuses

An Iraqi women holding a flower at a Valentine’s Day gifts makeshift stall in Baghdad.
An Iraqi women holding a flower at a Valentine’s
 Day gifts makeshift stall in Baghdad.
Mohamed Mostafa
Iraqi News
March 12, 2017

An Iraqi women holding a flower at a Valentine’s Day gifts makeshift stall in Baghdad.

Baghdad ( An Iraqi female parliamentarian has called for legislation that encourages polygamy with financial allowances, arguing that such a law could preserve Iraqi women’s “dignity”, counter spinsterhood and political manipulation of women.

Jamila al-Ebeidi proposed a legislation entitling men to a government allowance should they marry more than one woman, especially divorced ones and widows, urging fellow MPs and the women community to adopt the motto “accepting partners to protect each other”.

“While we express thankfulness to men who voluntarily celebrate International Women’s Day…We should remind (women) MPs of a forgotten right….it is polygamy for which we harassed men despite increasing spinsterhood and divorced women who now exceed four million,” Ebeidi said in a press conference inside the parliament’s building on Sunday., which was reported by some media outlets.

Ebeid said the phenomenon affecting Iraqi women makes them “susceptible to manipulation, especially by politicians,” she said, stating that those influence women with money during election times.

“Had a woman enjoyed her natural right to marriage, she would not have been subjected to such bargaining,” Ebeidi stated, urging fellow women, including MPs, to encourage polygamy and to “renounce the one-woman mentality at the expense of our sisters,” as she put it.

Ebeidi stressed she was going to collect signatures supporting her planned bill.

Her motion, however, was met with criticism from the parliament’s women and childhood affairs committee.

Rezan Delir, a Kurdish member of the committee, labelled the proposal “an insult of women’s dignity” and a “distraction from the war against the Islamic State”.

In 2016, Iraq’s Federal Judicial Authority said divorces reached 53.182 until December, compared to 196.89 marriages. If December was included, the rate could be recorded as the highest since 2011.

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