Good news. Now, let’s hope the measures they take will serve for something:
Eliminating gender-based violence in Kurdistan, the conservative northern region of Iraq where “honour”-based killings are still common, remains a battle. But the regional government has reaffirmed its commitment to tackle the tribal traditions that devalue women’s lives.In a conference on 25 November to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Kurdish Prime Minister, Barham Salih, said honour killings were a result of “social backwardness and a patriarchal domination” and the government would take measures to end the “embarrassing” act.
According to Aso Kamal, a human rights activist with the Doaa Network Against Violence, more than 12,000 women died in honour-based killings between 1991 and 2007, a figure dismissed by the regional government, whose statistics show a decline in recent years, the New York Times recently reported.
Kurdish academic Nazand Bagikhani, who has co-authored a Kurdish Regional Government-funded research on honour killings, said accurate figures on gender-based crimes were difficult to compile because the violence happened in the home.
In her 168-page report, the first study of honour killing in the semi-autonomous region, Bagikhani highlighted the mentality in many parts of Kurdistan that sees family honour as more important than the lives of women.