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Iraq's war on women is still waging. Even though women's rights have improved in recent years, there are still radical interests that would like to limit them.
In December, a new policy was issued on women's dress in the governmental workplace: no t-shirts, short skirts, tight-fitting pants, or anything that calls attention.
Surprisingly, this directive didn't come from an extremist group; rather, it was issued by Iraq's minister for women's affairs, Ibtihal Kasid al-Zaydi, in response to complaints about women's attire.
No government has the right to dictate to anyone how to conduct their personal choices. The Ministry for Women's Affairs should be concerned about empowering the women that have been discriminated against for so many years, not keen to take away more rights.
Join us in asking Ibtihal Kasid al-Zaydi to reconsider the directive and to promote equal rights for women in Iraq.
Dear Ibtihal Kasid al-Zaydi:
I am appalled at the recent decision made by Iraq's Ministry for Women's Affairs that female civil employees must adhere to a strict dress code. With all of the adversity Iraqi women have had to endure over the years, one would think that we've come as far as to allow them to govern their own wardrobe choices.
Have we sunk so low that even the Minstry of Women's Affairs — the arm of the government tasked with advocating for women — doesn't itself believe in women's basic civil rights?
This new policy is no doubt a step backward for women in Iraq. A true democracy means everyone is free to make their own choices. Please reverse this discriminatory policy in favor of Iraqi women's rights.