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Parliament holds second reading of Bill on Combating Violence against Women and Families

The Kurdistan Parliament on 21 September 2022 held the second reading of the Bill on Combating Violence against Women and Families. MPs over 10 hours gave their views and critiques of each article of the bill, at some points in the presence of the KRG Minister for the Interior Rebar Ahmed and other KRG senior officials.

Deputy Speaker Dr. Hemin Hawrami opened the sitting, with Secretary Muna Kahveci alongside him.

On behalf of the Kurdistan Parliament, Deputy Speaker Hawrami expressed his condolences to the family of Ms. Zhina Amini, a young Kurdish woman in Iran who died after being detained accused of breaking strict hijab rules. Dr. Hawrami asked all in the chamber to stand for a moment’s silence in Zhina Amini’s memory.

At the start of the second reading of the Bill on Combating Violence against Women and Families, some MPs asked that the bill be rejected. After the sitting was paused to decide whether to continue the second reading or reject the bill, it was resumed at 2pm, with Speaker Dr. Rewaz Faiq taking over the proceedings.

As well as the KRG Minister for the Interior Rebar Ahmed, Minister for the Region for Parliament Affairs Dr. Vala Farid, and the Secretary General of the High Council for Women and Development Dr. Khanzad Ahmad, were also present for the bill’s reading.

The Protection of Women’s Rights Committee and the Legislative Committee read every article of the bill, and MPs gave their detailed comments and recommendations on all of them.

Some MPs wanted to reject the bill, while others suggested changes because they felt that some provisions were against Kurdistan’s traditions or Islamic principles, and would lead to family breakdown.

KRG Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed explained the reasons for the provisions and said that the KRG supported Parliament’s bill, which is an amendment to the existing legislation, Law No. 8 of 2011, with the aim of minimizing its gaps and shortcomings. He said that the amendments would help to protect the institution of the family in Kurdistan’s society.

Minister Rebar Ahmed added that the KRG does not in any way support any article that goes against the principles of Islam. The bill as it stands has 14 articles and its purpose is to fill the gaps that became apparent in the implementation of the Law on Combating Violence against Families, Law No. 8 of 2011.

At the end of the bill's reading, Speaker Faiq announced that the next sitting would take place the following day, 22nd September, at 11am.