Upcoming elections in Iraq: Women should continue to stand firm

Iraqi parliamentary elections will be held on October 10. Women have worked hard for the elections even if they have been ignored. Activists Sarah El Moussawi and Enas Halim stated that women should continue to stand firm and that if women voters care about elections by breaking all barriers, laws based on women's rights will be passed by the parliament.


Baghdad – Women were removed from all fields, from politics to social life, from art to economy for centuries. But women have reentered these fields after struggling for their rights all around the world. One of these fields is politics. Women have been struggling to be effective in this field. Women have been removed from this field in many countries. In many countries, women have been actively working in this field by participating in politics with the gender quota system.

In a world where women are murdered, subjected to violence, and to all kinds of injustice, women’s participation in politics is very important. Women’s participation in politics means that more laws will be enacted on issues such as violence against women, femicide, sexual abuse, suspicious deaths of women, and punishment of perpetrators. Last year, the Baghdadi government decided to hold a snap election and announced that the Iraqi parliamentary elections would be held on June 6 but were delayed as the Independent High Electoral Commission asked for more time to organize the elections. Iraqi women activists and members of the media have been carrying out awareness campaigns for the upcoming elections.

“We live in a region where individual freedoms are poor”

30-year-old Sarah El Moussawi is an activist and journalist. Expressing her thoughts on women's voting preferences, she emphasized that social, cultural, scientific, and even popular culture has an impact on women’s voting preferences but the most dominant factor in Iraq is the family. “Women working in education, different working areas will, of course, have a choice compared to women who have to spend their time in their homes. But we should remember that Iraqi society still has aspects that characterize women. This will be seen in political preferences during the elections. We live in a region where individual freedoms are poor and social majority and environmental factors will determine their preferences.”

“Women should continue to stand firm”

Sarah El Moussawi talked assertively about female candidates, “I think male candidates trust female candidates more. This country witnessed how female candidates won more votes than male candidates. Female candidates surely get more votes for their personalities but female politicians have a more reliable stance and expectations are higher than male politicians. Female politicians should continue to stand firm. Or they will be held captive by male politicians and male politics.”

“Women’s fundamental rights are wanted to be taken from them”

Enas Halim is a well-known activist in the country. 31-year-old Emas Halim also works in media. She demanded female politicians enact laws based on women’s rights. “Freedom of thought and vote and stand for election are the fundamental human rights. Men want to take even these fundamental rights from women. But I believe that a strong parliament can enact laws based on women’s rights. If women voters care about elections by breaking all barriers, laws based on women's rights will be passed by the parliament.”