‘You can come upon women’s bodies anywhere’ “The Guardian”

Life was supposed to get better for women in Iraq after the ousting of Saddam. The reality has been rocketing rates of rape, murder, domestic violence and infant mortality, reports leading US writer Katha Pollitt. The video, originally posted on jebar.info, a Kurdish website, was soon plastered all over the internet: a young girl in a red tracksuit jacket and black pants was being beaten, Continue reading

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After 4 Years of Occupation and Oppression Our Struggles Continue

OWFI’s Statement for IWD: Women of Iraq have gradually let go of most of their 20th century gains and privileges in the last 4 years of occupation. Iraq turned from a modern country of educated and working women into a divided land of Islamic and ethnic warlords who compete in cancelling women from the social realm. Millions of women’s destinies are wasted between the destructive US war machine and different kinds of Islamic rule who have turned women into helpless black objects of no will or worth. Continue reading

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Islamic Sharia law: a constant threat against the rights and freedom of women in the Middle East

Today in many societies in the Middle East, women are regarded as second or third class citizens. Recognition of women as free human beings equal to men is off the agenda for all governments in the region. Every year thousands of women fall victim to so-called “honour killings”, commit suicide under pressure by setting fire to themselves and suffer from daily abuses and violence. Women are active fighting for their rights in all public spheres, including as workers, in many societies, but again the culture of religious patriarchy is so dominant that we are still not free individuals on our own right. Continue reading

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Support Houzan Mahmoud against Death Threats of Ansar al-Islam in Iraq

After starting a campaign against article 7 in the Kurdistan’s regional constitution which makes women and the society vulnerable to Islamic Shariaa, Houzan received on February 26th an email titled (kill), threatening as follows: “With the permission of Great God, we will kill you either in Iraq or in London by the middle of March, because you are campaigning against Islam. You should be sent to God for punishment.” The threat is signed by Ansar Al Islam, a Sunni Jihadi group in Kurdistan of Iraq. Continue reading

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Misogynist Parties Exploiting Women’s Sufferings For their Political Purposes

About the rape of Sabrine in Iraq: The Iraqi society was shocked with an unprecedented issue of a woman stepping forward voluntarily and admitting to have been sexually assaulted by Iraqi security forces. Instead of pursuing further investigation into this assault allegation, or empowering the victim with moral support, the opponent Islamist sectarian factions competed to exploit the matter politically preparing the ground for bloody sectarian conflict. They symbolized Sabrine’s rape as an assault against the whole “Sunni religious group”.   Continue reading

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The Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq participated in the women’s march to Reclaim The Night in central London.

OWFI_UK_PRESS1editedOn Saturday the 25th November 2006 more than one thousand women took to the streets of London to mark the International Day to End Violence Against Women, and march for their right to walk in the streets at night without fear of rape and sexual harassment. Continue reading

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A dark anniversary

The first step on the long road to building a new Iraq is for the occupying forces to leave. In the modern history of Iraq, September 24 is a dark day. It was on September 24 2002 that the US administration decided it would launch its barbaric war against the Iraqi people. Continue reading

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The Price of Freedom an article by Houzan Mahmoud on the Iraq death tool in The Guardian’s Comment is Free:

Activist Houzan Mahmoud finds inspiration by going to visit historic buildings. I have been a women’s rights activist for a long time – but what with being a mother of a daughter aged seven and a political refugee from Iraq, my life is not like everyone else’s. Continue reading

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It’s not a matter of choice an article by Houzan Mahmoud on Veil issue in UK

More than ever, women are claiming that wearing the veil, burqa or niqab is their own decision. I totally reject this view. The veil is not merely a piece of “cloth”, but a sign of the oppression of women, control over their sexuality, submissiveness to the will of God or a man. The veil is a banner of political Islam used, to segregate women born by historical accident in the so-called “Islamic World” from other women in the rest of the world. Continue reading

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Iraqis still live with “shock and awe”

On the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Houzan Mahmoud says that women in the country are bearing the brunt as things go from bad to worse. On March 20, the Iraqi people have reached the dismal milestone of the third-year point since the United State-led invasion of Iraq. From the shock and awe of the aerial bombardment of 20 March 2003, they are now contemplating a fourth year of continuing terrorism, extreme insecurity, destruction, and the daily violation of women’s rights. Continue reading

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Amnesty International Wales PRESS RELEASE


Houzan Mahmoud visits National Assembly for All Party Group discussions. Tomorrow, International Women’s Day, Amnesty International will host Houzan Mahmoud, an expert on women’s freedom in Iraq on a visit to the National Assembly for Wales. Continue reading

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Reaping the Fruits of American Democracy in Iraq

On Wednesday the 22nd of February, Iraqi people witnessed the darkest day of their modern history. The new democracy, as designed by George Bush and reinforced by his ambassador Khalil Zadeh, has matured to the point where sectarian and civil war is only one tool of political pressure of one governmental group to get a bigger share in the government. Continue reading

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A statement by organization of Women’s freedom in Iraq – abroad representative on International Women’s Day (8 March)

Make it a day to say No! To Islamic Sharia law in Iraq!  For secularism, equality and freedom! The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) sends its greetings for this historic day to women activists all over the world. For centuries women have been struggling for their rights and for equality and liberation in all parts of the world. Major changes have been won, but nowhere do we have real equality, and in many parts of the world the oppression and exploitation of women are still striking. Iraq is one of those places. Continue reading

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The elections in Iraq may be seen by some as a step forward, but the jury’s out on whether this is good news for women. London’s Green MEP, Jean Lambert has called for action to end the atrocities, and support women struggling to overcome oppression. Continue reading

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