In Kurdistan of Iraq, amidst all the growth in the economy and infrastructure, one very important issue which has been fatally neglected in our society is that of violence against females of all ages under the justification of honor. In 2012, 89 women were killed and another 357 were severely burned or mutilated in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Girls under the age of 18, in particular, have been subjected to extremely brutal treatment.
Too many minors have been forced into marriage to become a child bride with no means to escape their fate. Too many have been muted by family members or spouses when trying to voice their objection. Time and time again, this has ended in the murder of our girls, whether by their families or by their spouse.
It’s time to put an end to this horror.
Laws have been created to penalize and punish the criminals “after the fact”, but not enough laws to prevent such heinous crimes from occurring before it can even start.
We need a law that will prevent parents from forcing their daughters into marriage before the age of 18 and religious leaders from having the right to perform marriages of minors under 18 as well. This should be punishable by the courts for both parties.
We, the undersigned, insist, that by the end of 2014, the Kurdistan Regional Government, pass Donya’s Law making it illegal and punishable by law, any parent, sibling or extended family as well as any and all religious leaders to force and perform the unlawful and forced marriage of any minor female under 18 years of age.
The Donya's Law petition to Kurdis was written by Arayish Barzinjee and is in the category Gender Rights and Issues at GoPetition.