As always, the elephant in the room which this story avoids is the role of Islamic teachings and traditions, in the Qur’an, and in the example of Muhammad. Qur’an 4:34 allows a man to hit (yes, hit) women in his household from whom he fears disobedience. Child marriage persists due to the example of Muhammad (see also: Sahih Bukhari 7.62.88), who consummated his marriage to a nine-year-old at the age of fifty-four.
“No law can be passed that contradicts the fixed principles of Islam” in the post-Saddam Iraqi constitution (Chapter 1, Article 2), and resistance to reforms in favor of the protection of women will invoke the supremacy of Sharia. “A fifth of Iraqi women ‘subjected to abuse’,” from Agence France-Presse, November 26:
One in five Iraqi women is subjected to either physical or psychological abuse, often inflicted by family members, Minister of State for Women’s Rights Ibtihal al-Zaidi said on Saturday.
“One-fifth of Iraqi women are subjected to two types of violence, physical and psychological, constituting a very serious danger to the family and society,” Zaidi said at a conference dedicated to fighting violence against women.
“The most dangerous violence against woman is family violence, from the father, the brother, the husband or even the son,” she said.
“Fighting violence against women is a cultural issue, it is the responsibility of the media, politicians and the religious men,” said Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who also attended the conference.
The overall level of violence in Iraq has declined since its peak in 2006-2007, but women still remain victims of violence, trafficking, forced marriage at a young age, and kidnapping for confessional or criminal reasons, according to non-governmental organisations.
Iraqi women are also affected by a lack of social services, and some must head their households alone because of the death of a husband or son.