Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Scourge of Domestic Violence

Violence against women has become increasingly common in Iraq.
In this episode, Asma al-Amery commented on the phenomenon and pointed to male chauvinism as a leading factor behind the violence, which leads some women to commit suicide.

In a feature story from Baghdad, we heard from headmistress Fatina Baban who said lack of economic opportunity puts great psychological stress on men, because they cannot satisfy the basic needs of their families. Consequently, they behave violently towards their wives and children.

The show featured a vox pop in which interviewees were asked whether men are entitled to exercise violence against woman. Ishraq Shakir, a 29-year-old, said men have no right to beat their wives. But Huda Sadiq Mohammed, a 51-year-old, said wives could be beaten if they misbehave or fail to obey their husbands.

In another feature story, this time from Sulaimanyah, Koral Tofiq reported on a women’s shelter established recently in the city. Diman Kamal, manager of the Nawa centre, said many people considered such places to be brothels that encourage women to disobey men. She said the centre provides shelter to dozens of women who have been raped and threatened by relatives.

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