The first COVID-19 case was reported to WHO on December 31, 2019. Many governments around the world decided to impose restrictions on movement in the effort to flatten the curve and stop the spread of the virus. The first cases in Iraq were identified on February 14th, and from that date, many universities, schools, and shops in Iraq closed.
According to Human Rights Watch, Iraq has the highest rate of domestic violence in the world. Women are regularly killed, murdered, burned and bullied — and many other types of abuse — simply because they are WOMEN! Since men have been staying in their houses since mid-February, the problems started to flare up. Men began striking and violating women and children even more than before.
Some men seem to think that because they are bored, they are going to strike their wives and children.
Some men think of women as fragile machines that serve and obey men’s desires.
On April 12th an Iraqi man burned his young wife in Najaf province, in central-southern Iraq. Some say that she burned herself because of the domestic violence, but people often accuse women of doing that (perhaps to excuse the worst of the violence). The man’s father put out the fire and took her to the hospital. The young woman’s name is Malek Haidar Al-Zubaida. She had been married for around a year. After she got married, her husband prevented her from visiting her parents.
Malak’s mother said, “Her husband`s father took her to the hospital, and he registered her name and did the hospital paperwork.” Nobody would be able to protect Malak after she returned home.
The husband escaped, and as of now has not been found. One might say that he is more truculent than coronavirus.
Malak has been suffering from her burns in the hospital in Najaf province and was facing a long recovery there. Then yesterday, Malak died — from kidney failure and skin poisoning from the burns.
Women in Iraq often suffer from violence, sexual harassment, and murder. Malak’s story is not new. Girls are regularly burned and murdered and nobody talks about that, because it’s a taboo in Iraq. People consider it shameful to talk about violence against women because it`s one of the cultural norms. There are many people who still look back to the traditions and what their ancestors did, and they are proud of what they are doing against women. Society has made it okay for women to be beaten by a man. Women are always blamed for everything that happens, so that many women start believing that it is okay to be beaten. For example, if a man abuses his wife by hitting her or burning her, many believe that the women did not obey him or sleep with him, and they don`t blame the man for being truculent.
Many men in this part of the world think that it’s masculine and cool to strike women — and that the more they hurt women, the more masculine they are.
Many men in this part of the world think that it’s cool to show disrespect for a woman’s dignity and her body.
That it is cool to harass women.
That women are property.
That they should oppress women.
That it’s okay to let girls marry under the age of 18.
Women seriously deserve a much better deal in this part of the world.
The violence will not end if men DO NOT STOP their brutal and backward behavior against women and children.