With fears that women’s rights are being eroded in Iraq, prospective female lawmakers are determined to push women’s issues to the fore of campaigning for this month’s elections. Despite a constitutional requirement that a quarter of all MPs be women, Iraq lags on key indicators such as female employment and literacy, and there is a bill before parliament that opponents say dramatically curtails women’s rights. Also at issue ahead of 30 April elections are high levels of violence against women, discrimination at the workplace and poor school attendance. “I did not expect that we will fight for women’s rights in this country,” said Inam Abdul Majed, a television news presenter and an election hopeful running in Baghdad. “I wanted to fight for better education, better services, better life conditions… But we are in this big trouble now, and it is a primary problem to be solved.”
Voting Blogs: The Cracked Pipeline: How Redistricting Targeted Women Lawmakers In Statehouses Around The Country | TPM
That Democrats became roadkill during the latest round of redistricting, mostly at the hands of Republican state legislatures, has been well documented. But less widely known is that the casualties at the state level often hit women lawmakers the hardest — eating into the slow but steady gains women have made in statehouses across the country. A closer examination shows that it’s not just Democratic women officeholders who have taken it on the chin, being drawn into districts with either more voters from the opposite party or another incumbent — or both. The redistricting process in several states could set women of both parties back, including many women in leadership positions. In North Carolina, where Republicans controlled the redistricting process and women lawmakers have been particularly hard-hit, those dealt a tough blow by redistricting include state Sen. Linda Garrou, the deputy Democratic leader, and Rep. Martha Alexander, who has served for nearly 20 years and is a former co-chair of the redistricting committee. In all, 10 of 25 Democratic women lawmakers in the state were either “double bunked” — forced into a district with another incumbent — or drawn into heavily Republican districts.