A state-owned bank in Iraq is attracting criticism among female advocates after it announced a loan for civil servants marrying for the second time. Iraq’s Al Rasheed Bank made the announcement.
The bank said that the beneficiaries from the loan of 10 million Iraqi dinars (USD$ 8,389) should not have previously got a marriage loan. Moreover, they should not have been in service for at least two years. The offer has drawn sharp criticism.
Hanan Al Fatlawi, an advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister (PM) for women’s affairs, was unhappy with government’s decision.
She said that it is shameful that such a statement comes from a respectable government bank. Fatlawi also said that women are not a commodity for sale or display for men.
Bank provokes anger with a second marriage loan offer
Iraqi lawmaker Rizan Al Sheikh urged Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi to scrap the controversial loan. The lawmaker said that is a sign of administrative confusion by the bank. She said to protest in the street with fellow Iraqi women unless the banks revokes its decision.
“Government and private banks should shift towards a policy of employing the woman and motivating her success by offering loans for small-scale projects instead of turning her into a commodity through unfair decisions,” said Al Sheikh.
The loan is not to encourage second marriages, claims the bank
In reaction, Rasheed bank denies that the loan does not encourage second marriage. The bank said that it is meant for those who are divorced and widowed. It is for people with special family circumstances.
It further said that as a bank, they have no legal right to prevent or encourage second marriage. The loan is available for men and women.
It is specifically for those individuals whose circumstances may oblige them to marry again.
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