Contact: Christie Hobbs
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WASHINGTON, DC– The Independent Women’s Forum congratulates the men and women of Iraq on successfully voting in a referendum ratifying the new Iraqi constitution. The referendum results were announced Tuesday by the Electoral Commission of Iraq following a 10-day audit. The vote was 78.59% in favor of the ratification and 21.41% against.

October 15th proved to be a very positive day for Iraqis with a considerably lower level of violence in comparison to the previous elections. “The passage of the new constitution is undoubtedly one of many crucial steps toward the deveoplment of true democratic institutions in Iraq,” said IWF senior vice president Michelle D. Bernard.

Despite the doubts of many critics, Iraqi leaders democratically discussed, argued, and finally compromised on a new charter. As Iraqis prepare for December 2005 elections, IWF will continue to support pro-democracy Iraqi women activists and the citizens of Iraq in protecting women’s human rights socially, economically, politically, and under the law,” continued Bernard. “With the new constitution now in place, it is most important Iraqi women understand their rights under the law, but also have the knowledge and means accessible to them to guarantee their equal rights under the new constitution and in any relevant laws passed by the Iraqi legislature,” said Bernard.