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
Consequently, millions of women undergo sexual discrimination encouraged by Islamist activists and Saddam’s regime that urge all “God Loving” men to oppress their women so as to abide by an Islamic submissive lifestyle that was created hundreds of years ago. This situation has been introduced and enhanced in the last decade, and does not allow women basic standards of human dignity. Other Reasons that result in the deterioration of social status of women in Iraq:
- Hundreds of thousands of women were widowed by consecutive wars, and genocide executed by Saddam’s army
- Economic sanctions spread out poverty to unthinkable extents where every widow finds herself responsible of a family with no sort of support or social insurance
- Recent years changes in civil laws so as to allow honor killings and referral to backward and barbaric tribal law
- Absence of supremacy of law, allowing Islamist misogynist practices which the ruling Baath party chose to apply by committing mass killings on women.
Local Women’s Movements
Independent Women’s organization (IWO) was formed on 8th of March 1992 in North of Iraq with the efforts of volunteering individuals. Since then, women sheltering services began to be provided. These include armed protection, safe dwelling and legal services.
IWO has proved to be the only organization to fully adopt a comprehensive campaign of advocating Iraqi women’s rights and for that had gained the support of local radical movements. IWO has extended its influence to international locations that attracted masses of Iraqi refugees. It is represented now in Canada, England and Australia. Our committee (DIWR) in Canada was founded on May 20, 1998 and has pursued
Investigating into the status of Iraqi women with a focus on Kurdistan of Iraq where the absence of supremacy of law resulted in giving way to ancient tribal practices against women encouraged by recent Islamist influences.
The need for these services?
In order to gain a broad perspective of the local scene, and a sense of the urgency to activate change towards the women’s cause in Iraqi Kurdistan, we refer to one recent statistical figure done in North of Iraq – Kurdistan
– That could explain it all:
Within a population of 5 Million in Iraqi Kurdistan
- 4000 honor killings (1990-1999)
- Hundreds of burnt women
- Tens of honor driven mutilations against women
- Thousands of circumcised (genitally mutilated) girls yearly till this present day
What your support can do?
Strengthen international solidarity for the support of women’s movement in Iraq in their struggle against Islamist influenced male violence.
Provide the women’s shelter with financial support necessary for the survival of desperate women.
Boost Women’s aspirations in gaining freedom and equality with their fellow men.
We seek the support and cooperation of all organizations that are involved in developing women’s status worldwide. For any inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us on the addresses written below.