Can Women in the KRI Break the Glass Ceiling?

Ofra Bengio has published an article in "Kurdistan Chronicle" about the history of Kurdish women's rights and Kurdish female involvement in the military and politics.

"Much has been achieved since the formation of the Kurdistan Regional Government in 1992 that one cannot turn a blind eye to. At the moment, the region faces a major challenge working from the laws of the Iraqi Federal Government as well as some common traditional social structures that impede gender equality and reinforce old norms, including polygamy, honor killing, female genital mutilation, and child marriage. These structural problems are, however, balanced by two parallel Kurdish traditions of women intermingling with men in the public sphere and of strong female leaders, fighters, and politicians, from Khanzadeh in the 17th century and Kara Fatma in the 19th to Adela Khanum in the early 20th, to mention a few."

"Female Kurds in Iraq began small-scale activities to advance the Kurdish women’s movement in Istanbul following the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Thereafter, these activists worked in Iraqi Kurdistan, notching notable achievements such as opening a school for girls in Sulemani. Since then, Kurdish women have risen to leading roles while some neighboring societies still uphold traditional and patriarchal norms."