“Obeidi believes the bill would be a crucial step in Iraq, given the country’s large number of widows and divorced women, estimated respectively at 2 million and 4 million.
“Yet Obeidi’s proposal provoked much controversy in Iraq. Many have come out in support of it, like parliamentarian Motashar al-Samarrai, who told Iraqi media that the proposed bill was “in line with Islamic Sharia.” He said that it is a woman’s right to have sexual relations but within the bounds of marriage.
“Other parliamentarians and activists had a different take on the issue. Iraqi activist and artist Najha Salih took to social media to speak out against the bill, which she deemed “reactionary” and a step backward.
“Female parliamentarians Vian Dakhil and Maysoon al-Damluji also denounced the proposed bill. Parliamentarian Hanan al-Fitlawi said that the bill had prompted a dispute among female members of parliament, “as some parliamentarians support this polygamy bill, while others are strongly attacking it, considering it a way to objectify women.’
The law will exacerbate the economic and social problems of the family and will not solve any of the womens social problems. On the contrary, it will increase them, Intisar al-Jabouri, a member of the parliamentary Committee for Women, Family and Childhood, told Al-Monitor.
“Obeidi told Al-Monitor during a telephone interview, The legislation aims at protecting the widows and divorced women against exploitation by men, as women have increasingly been harassed, not to mention the spread of poverty and prostitution among this vulnerable group.
“She added, The main objective of the bill is to break the social isolation of widows and divorced women by eliminating this look of inferiority of them and reintegrating them into the family.””