No to Sexual Apartheid in Iraq!
Parvin Kaboli
Open Letter to Human Rights Organisations

Parvin Kaboli, Spokesperson of the International Campaign in Defence of Women’s Rights in Iran
No to Sexual Apartheid in Iraq!
The draft constitution of Iraq is due to be reviewed. One thing is for certain. The Islamic groups are trying to base the constitution on Islamic laws. It other words women in Iraq are going to have the same fate as women in Iran. Shari’a law will ruin the lives of women in Iraq. You might ask how?

• Do you know in Iran women are stoned to death for having sexual relations outside marriage?
• Do you know women do not have the right to choose their clothes? It is common knowledge that in Iran, the veil is compulsory and women who defy it are severely punished, arrested or flogged in public?
• Do you know that women and men are forced to be segregated in public?
• Do you know that many jobs are closed to women because of their gender?
• Do you know that women have to get written permission from their husbands or male guardians in order to get a job, study or travel?
• Do you know that women do not have the right to divorce and in the event of divorce they do not have the right of custody of their children?

The list is endless. I have only mentioned a few of them. In one word, sexual apartheid rules in Iran under Islamic Shari’a law.
You might find these facts hard to believe. It is unfortunately the bitter truth for millions of women in Iran and is exactly what is waiting the women in Iraq, should the constitution be based on Islamic laws. Parallel to this devastating situation, there is a strong movement for a better humane life in Iran. Women in Iran have managed to force their way into all aspects of the society including education. There is a strong movement against the veil and all anti women laws. The struggle against sexual apartheid is visible as a strong and radical movement in Iran.
Women in Iraq too do not have any illusions about Islamic laws. They are fully aware of the anti women Islamic laws. Their demands are clear. They demand a secular government and constitution devoid of any traces of religion. They demand freedom, equality and international human rights. We must not let the Iranian scenario be repeated in Iraq.
We urge you all to deliver your concerns and protest against the inclusion of Islamic Shari'a law in the draft constitution in Iraq. Send your solidarity letters to us.

Parvin Kaboli
Tel:+46(0)70774 4020

International campaign for the defence of Women’s Right in Iran