Women police is the best option

Lawyer warns of increased harassment amid school year start

BAGHDAD, September 10 — Lawyer Aliya Al-Hasani, specializing in women’s rights stated on Saturday, that harassment rates against women are expected to increase with the start of the school year and the return of students to their classrooms. She called for the provision of female police officers to protect women of all age groups in public places.

Aliya Al-Hasani, a women’s rights advocate and lawyer, explained in an interview with the Iraqiya channel: “The phenomenon of harassment is a global issue and depends on the culture of the society. With the approaching start of the school year, we see crowds of teenagers gathering in front of girls’ schools, and this issue needs to be addressed.”

She emphasized that this issue could be addressed either by tightening penalties under the law or by raising awareness in society about the existence of penalties for this crime.

Although the term “harassment” is not explicitly mentioned in Iraqi Penal Code No. 11 of 1969 (as amended), it is addressed in Articles 400, 401, and 402, which cover crimes against modesty or offenses that offend modesty. These types of crimes include both material and moral elements.

The material element involves acts that offend modesty and are evident to the victim as harassment, such as physical gestures, actions, and words.

Unfortunately, the phenomenon of harassment against minors is currently widespread in Iraq. Some families resolve these matters through tribal customs, while others seek legal action.

The problem of harassment against women in Iraq lies in their reluctance to resort to the law. Therefore, all women of different ages are exposed to harassment.

There are several reasons that lead women to refrain from resorting to the law. One of them is the belief that “it is better not to create a problem caused by a woman, as it will harm her,” because it is a male-dominated society, and any issue will ultimately affect the woman.

The second reason is the difficulty of proving harassment, as the harasser usually chooses a location for the crime away from the eyes of others.

The third reason is the lack of female police officers in public places, especially in places where there is mingling.