|Open Letter to Human Rights Organisations
Parvin Kaboli, Spokesperson of the International Campaign in Defence
of Women’s Rights in Iran
No to Sexual Apartheid in Iraq!
The draft constitution of Iraq is due to be reviewed. One thing
is for certain. The Islamic groups are trying to base the constitution
on Islamic laws. It other words women in Iraq are going to have
the same fate as women in Iran. Shari’a law will ruin the lives
of women in Iraq. You might ask how?
• Do you know in Iran women are stoned to death for having sexual
relations outside marriage?
• Do you know women do not have the right to choose their clothes?
It is common knowledge that in Iran, the veil is compulsory and
women who defy it are severely punished, arrested or flogged in
• Do you know that women and men are forced to be segregated in
• Do you know that many jobs are closed to women because of their
• Do you know that women have to get written permission from their
husbands or male guardians in order to get a job, study or travel?
• Do you know that women do not have the right to divorce and in
the event of divorce they do not have the right of custody of their
The list is endless. I have only mentioned a few of them. In one
word, sexual apartheid rules in Iran under Islamic Shari’a law.
You might find these facts hard to believe. It is unfortunately
the bitter truth for millions of women in Iran and is exactly what
is waiting the women in Iraq, should the constitution be based on
Islamic laws. Parallel to this devastating situation, there is a
strong movement for a better humane life in Iran. Women in Iran
have managed to force their way into all aspects of the society
including education. There is a strong movement against the veil
and all anti women laws. The struggle against sexual apartheid is
visible as a strong and radical movement in Iran.
Women in Iraq too do not have any illusions about Islamic laws.
They are fully aware of the anti women Islamic laws. Their demands
are clear. They demand a secular government and constitution devoid
of any traces of religion. They demand freedom, equality and international
human rights. We must not let the Iranian scenario be repeated in
We urge you all to deliver your concerns and protest against the
inclusion of Islamic Shari'a law in the draft constitution in Iraq.
Send your solidarity letters to us.
International campaign for the defence of Women’s Right in Iran