Violence against women still big concern in Kurdistan
Around 17 cases of sexual harassments reported across Kurdistan Region
Around 589 cases of violence against women have been recorded in May, 2013 alone, including four cases of killing and 17 cases of sexual harassment, according to the official figures from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) General Directorate to Trace Violence Against Women.
The violent cases include four cases of killing, six cases of self-killing, 24 cases of burning, 11 cases of immolation and 536 complaints as well as 17 cases of sexual harassment.
The KRG has so far begun to show interest to solve violence against women in Kurdistan Region. It has ratified and tightened certain laws to reduce the number of the violent cases. The newly passed laws consider “Honor Killing” as “willful murder” and whose perpetrators receive severe punishments.
While, the KRG is trying to decrease the number of violent cases, in contrast, the numbers increase and lead to attract the attention of the women defend organizations and the government too.
“In comparison to last year in May, the number of the violent cases against women has increased. Last year in May, around 428 cases of violence recorded, while it has reached in the region of 589 cases this year,” the Directorate’s figures show.
Erbil, capital of the semi autonomous Kurdistan Region, has received the lion's share of the vio- lence. The number of the violent cases in Erbil is estimated to be around 198. Out of which, three cases of killing recorded as well as three cases of self-killing, seven cases of burning, four cases of immolation, 179 cases of complaints and 2 cases of sexual harassment.
Meanwhile, feminist activists believe that this rise in the number of the victims is not a new phenomenon. They say the government plans to decrease the number of the victims, but, in contrast, they increase. “There might be lack of management or failure of strategies in the KRG’s plan,” the activists believe.
Officials in the directorate say that increasing in the number of the complaints is evidence that the level of understanding and awareness among women has raised, by which, they ask for their rights and take legal actions to report the violent cases.
Iraqi Kurdish women protest against violence and inequality in the province of Sulaimaniyah.