women and women’s organizations in Iraq

By Congrong Zheng

SInce the war in Iraq has drew so much attention from all over the world. Women’s situation in this country has also been put under the spots light.

This TED talk is from a Iraq born women talk about the influence of the war has left on her and all the other women in Iraq. The war influenced her family, her education, her marriage and almost everything. Women’s situation in Iraq is not only effected by the war, but also by the religious history, the islam tradition and Iraq constitution.

In Iraq, the education gap between men and women is narrowing. However, overall, there is still 26% of women is illiterate.  Girls are less likely than male students to continue their education beyond the primary level.

Also women are the victims of violence and backward religious traditions in Iraq,  and are in desperate need of shelter and protection from random acts of aggression. These women are subject to continuous threat of being:

  • killed by their husbands or male relatives (honor killings)
  • Burnt or mutilated for suspicion of shameful acts
  • publicly executed or shot by the police
  • kidnapped and secretly murdered
  • in state of despair and see no other way than to commit suicide

For women’s right, there are several big organizations in Iraq is trying to help women defense their human rights and provide them financial and emotional help. Women for Women International is one of them. This organization is actually founded by the speaker of the TED talk above,  Zainab Salbi who also served as the CEO of Women for Women Internation from 1993 to 2011. WfWI works with socially excluded women in eight countries where war and conflict have devastated lives and communities.There women will  enroll in our one-year program learn job skills and receive business training so they can earn a living. They come to understand their rights and how to fight for those rights in their homes, their communities and their nations. They learn how to become leaders. Women for Women International (WfWI) believes that lasting change can only be achieved when women have access to both knowledge and resources.

The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq is another very influential NGO.  This organization campaigns in favor of women’s rights in Iraq, and against political Islam. It was founded in 2003. Its director is Yanar Mohammed, who is also the director of this organization.

On this years International Women’s Day also the ten years anniversary of Iraq War. The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq has special issue to recall the history and the situation of Iraq women.owfienglishposterwar

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