Says the offer is for both men and women
Iraq’s Al-Rasheed Bank announced a loan of 10 million Iraqi dinars ($8,389) for civil servants marrying for the second time.
The bank said those seeking the loan should not have previously availed a marriage loan and must be in service for at least two years.
“A marriage loan will be offered to the civil servant married for the second time on condition neither he nor his first wife has benefited from a marriage loan,” the bank said in a statement.
The offer attracted severe criticism, especially from the women’s rights organisations.
“It is shameful that such a statement comes from a respectable government bank,” tweeted Hanan Al-Fatlawi, who is an adviser to the Iraqi prime minister on women’s affairs.
She said the loan offer objectified women in Iraq. “Women are not a commodity to be displayed or sold,” she said.
Iraqi lawmaker Rizan Al-Sheikh deplored the loan offer and said the government and private banks should work towards a policy of employing the women and motivating their success by offering loans for small-scale projects instead of turning them into commodities. He also urged Prime Minster Mustafa Al-Khadmiri to take action and discard the offer.
In reaction to the criticism, the bank said the loan was not aimed at encouraging second marriages.
“It is meant for those who are divorced and widowed, and people with special family circumstances,” said the bank. The loan is available for men and women, and designated for those whose circumstances oblige them to marry again, it added.