APPG Chair Robert Halfon stresses KRG efforts to eliminate crimes against women

The Daily Mail recently carried an article on a forthcoming television drama on the police search in Birmingham for the murderers of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod, whose family hailed from Iraqi Kurdistan. It was eventually established that members of her family had murdered her in a so-called “honour” crime.

The advancement of women’s rights and tackling violence against women is taken very seriously in the Kurdistan Region. The APPG Chair, the Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP sent a letter to the Mail to emphasis this.

This is the text of the letter

The tragic murder of young Iraqi Kurdish woman Banaz Mahmoud by members of her own family was truly ghastly and the dedicated police operation to track down the murderers deserves telling (How one woman solved Britain’s most notorious honour killing, 1 April)

Your readers should be assured that most Kurds hate this treatment of women and that the Kurdistan Regional Government is dedicated to ending such horrors: it eagerly co-operated with the UK in extraditing one of the accused to the UK.

Ministers and women’s groups have on my parliamentary visits there detailed how they are tackling so-called honour crimes, domestic violence, and female genital mutilation (now entirely eliminated in one previous blackspot) as well as encouraging more women into public life as ministers, MPs, and Peshmerga soldiers.

It is a continuing and inspiring journey from ancient mindsets which are more widely prevalent in the Middle East.

I hope that the coming television drama is a tribute to Banaz Mahmod and highlights Kurdish efforts to eliminate these terrible crimes and to help the many Yazidis in Kurdistan who were abducted and raped by the so-called Islamic State.

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