Iraq - Penal Code No. 111 of 1969 - Equality Now
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Iraq - Penal Code No. 111 of 1969

Article 41 of the Iraqi Penal Code No. 111 of 1969 gives a husband a legal right to punish his wife within certain limits prescribed by law or custom.

  • Country: Iraq
  • Law status: Discriminatory law in force
  • Law Type: Domestic Violence

Sex discrimination in laws purporting to address violence, or silence on the issue within the law, can actually promote or perpetuate violence against women and girls because there is little to deter perpetrators from committing crimes or inadequate recourse for victims; intimate partner and sexual violence is disproportionately inflicted upon women and adolescent girls.

Laws that allow men to “punish” or “correct” their wives sanction violence within the law itself and may be perpetuating or promoting intimate partner violence against women and girls.

The Law:

Article 41 of the Iraqi Penal Code No. 111 of 1969 gives a husband a legal right to punish his wife within certain limits prescribed by law or custom.

Article 41. There is no crime if the act is committed while exercising a legal right. The following are considered to be in exercise of a legal right: (1) The punishment of a wife by her husband, the disciplining by parents and teachers of children under their authority within certain limits prescribed by law or by custom.

Note: Article 14 of the Constitution of Iraq: Iraqis are equal before the law without discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, origin, color, religion, sect, belief or opinion, or economic or social status.

Link to full law

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