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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Controversy over reported dress code for female university students in Iraq

By Rudaw 31/10/2016
Female Iraqi university students during a graduation ceremony. AP file photo.
Female Iraqi university students during a graduation ceremony. AP file photo.

 

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education has reportedly issued a decree banning female students from wearing short skirts at universities, though top officials at the ministry said they were unaware.

Dr Salam Khoshnaw, Iraq’s deputy minister for higher education, told Rudaw he had been told about the decree by the culture ministry.

“Iraq’s deputy minister of culture told me that a decree of this sort has been passed. I am certainly not in favor of restricting student or civil liberties,” he said.

Khoshnaw said he would meet with the minister of higher education “to get to the bottom of this matter.”

Rumors had recently emerged about banning miniskirts at Iraqi universities, leading to controversy among students and rights activists.

“No decisions or instructions have been issued about uniforms or dress code for women at our universities and institution,” Aydar Abudi, spokesman of the ministry of higher education said. “Our universities and institutions enjoy freedom and we will not interfere in such matters,” he said.

Ashwaq Jaff, a Kurdish MP who is on the Iraqi parliament’s Human Rights Committee and visiting Kurdistan at the moment, told Rudaw that she had not seen the decree but that clothes were a personal choice.

“We have not seen the text of this decision, but we will follow up on this issue once we go back to Baghdad. Choosing what to wear or how to live is a matter of individual liberty, which is enshrined in the Iraqi constitution,” she said. “No one can constrain these liberties.”

Earlier this month the Iraqi parliament passed a law banning the production or sale of alcohol, a decision that is not being implemented in the autonomous Kurdistan Region.

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Barwari | 31/10/2016
Dear Rudaw, Why should we Kurds care about such decisions ?? Who cares about what happens in their country ? Let them do what the hell they want in their arab territories as long as it does not effect our beloved Kurdistan. This is yet another signal how from from civilization those arabs are. Let's get divided immediately from those savages. Long live Kurdistan
StrangeTiming | 31/10/2016
Something strange is going on. It is as if the Iraqi government wants to appear more and more a staunch Islamic government. Timing is also crucial, right when the ISIS operations peak and the post-ISIS Iraq is emerging.
Hoshyar Zaxoy | 1/11/2016
Away from discussing religious obsessions, all female creatures tend to show off. For an Iraqi or kurdish male with their hormones starting at 12 there is going to be some 18 years of waiting until such hormones are in action. Many of them suffer deeply in their private lives and their personality and sexual health is in trouble. And I wouldn't marry a girl that showed off 3/4 of her body to everyone just to look attractive.
James Parker
James Parker | 1/11/2016
I am glad the KRG isn't implementing Iraq's silly bans on alcohol and short skirts.
Non kurd | 1/11/2016
Iranian terror state 2.0.... so much for establishing democracy in Iraq.
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