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One of the facts touted to defend the UK’s involvement in the military ‘adventure’ in Iraq is that 25% of the country’s newly formed national assembly is made up of women.

On AlterNet today, Raghad Ali questions whether this means women are really given any clout, and uncovers worrying evidence that that “female politicians are often lackeys of their parties and do not speak or act independently”.

Aside from the fact that women outside politics face tough barriers, even within the assembly they are yet to hold prominent posts such as national assembly speaker or deputy speaker, or take an independent stance when voting.