A working draft of Iraq’s new constitution would cede a strong role to Islamic law and could sharply curb women’s rights, particularly in personal matters like divorce and family inheritance. The document’s writers are also debating whether to drop or phase out a measure enshrined in the interim constitution, co-written last year by the Americans, requiring that women make up at least a quarter of the parliament. The draft of a chapter of the new constitution obtained by The New York Times on Tuesday guarantees equal rights for women as long as those rights do not “violate Shariah,” or Koranic law. The Americans and secular Iraqis banished such explicit references to religious law from the interim constitution adopted early last year. Full Story
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