Kobani legislates gender equality









North Aleppo provinceAugust 31, 2015http://syriadirect.org/news/syria-direct-news-update-8-31-15/Local activists are giving mixed reviews to new laws signed by the legislative council in YPG-controlled Kobani over the weekend that sought to cement “equality between men and women in all areas of life” in the YPG-controlled city within the de facto autonomous Kurdish region of Rojava in northeastern Syria. “Women carry weapons, defend their land, work as employees and struggle in society, therefore the [old] laws which were against her that prevented her from being free and equal with men must be lifted,” Mustafa Abdi, a Kurdish journalist in the city, told Syria Direct on Monday. The 30 articles signed into law on Saturday are in keeping with the principles of the self-administrating government in Kobani of equality between men and women. The new laws ban the practice of polygamy, with penalties of up to a year of jail time and fines for violators, Kurdish-owned BAS News reported on Saturday. Other sections stipulate the prosecution of so-called honor crimes on equal footing with other murders and include a ban on child marriages. There might be such a thing as too much equality, Shirin Hamou, a Kurdish activist in the city told ARA News on Saturday: “It would also be nice not to see this young girl who the law protects from marriage being thrown into the battlefield after being forcibly conscripted.” Some online commentators criticized the law as out of touch with Kobani residents’ needs on Sunday. “There are no longer problems in Kobani other than polygamy?…Trivial,” one commenter on Facebook said. “A failed decision in the wrong time. What is this farce? The world is in one place and they’re in another,” another wrote.
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Local activists are giving mixed reviews to new laws signed by the legislative council in YPG-controlled Kobani over the weekend that sought to cement “equality between men and women in all areas of life” in the YPG-controlled city within the de facto autonomous Kurdish region of Rojava in northeastern Syria. “Women carry weapons, defend their land, work as employees and struggle in society, therefore the [old] laws which were against her that prevented her from being free and equal with men must be lifted,” Mustafa Abdi, a Kurdish journalist in the city, told Syria Direct on Monday. The 30 articles signed into law on Saturday are in keeping with the principles of the self-administrating government in Kobani of equality between men and women. The new laws ban the practice of polygamy, with penalties of up to a year of jail time and fines for violators, Kurdish-owned BAS News reported on Saturday. Other sections stipulate the prosecution of so-called honor crimes on equal footing with other murders and include a ban on child marriages. There might be such a thing as too much equality, Shirin Hamou, a Kurdish activist in the city told ARA News on Saturday: “It would also be nice not to see this young girl who the law protects from marriage being thrown into the battlefield after being forcibly conscripted.” Some online commentators criticized the law as out of touch with Kobani residents’ needs on Sunday. “There are no longer problems in Kobani other than polygamy?…Trivial,” one commenter on Facebook said. “A failed decision in the wrong time. What is this farce? The world is in one place and they’re in another,” another wrote.