OWFI refused the Women of Courage Award from the Department of Foreign Affairs of the US

The American Embassy in Baghdad has contacted the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq demanding from her to nominate for the International Women of Courage Award since the beginning of this year, the answer of the organization’s president Yanar Mohammed was that she had refused to nominate; this is the political position of the organization since it was founded; rejecting the policies of the American invasion which brought destruction upon the Iraqi society and drew sectarian and nationalist division policies in Iraq, and empowered the misogynist groups whether religious or nationalist which were the legitimate or illegitimate parents of Daesh groups.
As the US administration always had its way to wrap around the resolutions of progressive or feminist groups that rejected the invasion, they addressed individuals from OWFI about the award nomination; thereon suggesting the nomination of OWFI activist Jannat Alghezzi requesting her approval. As we in OWFI are not used to imposing our views or policies on individuals especially on individuals who are unaware of the political repercussions of such awards. We were taken by surprise when the nomination was for our colleague Jannat Al ghezzi, we nevertheless set our condition on her to nominate herself as individual and to represent herself only and not use the organization’s name in any form because we do not accept to receive any awards from the US government which was the reason of Iraq destruction.
It hurts us to see our colleague Jannat Alghezzi standing with the first lady Melania Trump receiving the award from those who are considered symbols of extremism, populism and hatred of other people, as well as symbols of misogyny and denial of women’s rights, as in our view that Jannat’s status within OWFI is much higher than this company.
We in OWFI issued this statement because of the many questions which have been directed to us by our allies after they thought that the award was directed to OWFI. For that reason we wanted to clarify this subject: That OWFI refuses to take the award from the US government which was the reason of the destruction that happened to Iraq and the endless violations against the lives and freedoms of Iraqi women. The award has been taken by Ms. Jannat Alghezzi as an individual and not as part of the organization. We regret that we had to write a statement about this subject.
OWFI continues to hold its grounds in anti-imperialist position, rejecting both the American occupation and their reactionary allies in Iraq, who stand for all inhumane and misogynist recent changes in Iraq. It was the American occupation of Iraq that started the genocide of Iraqis at the hands of the American military arsenal, and later on at the hands of sectarian Islamic groups who were supported into power by the US occupation, and who became later on the heroes of women’ enslavement and exploitation by Daesh and other extremist groups. The US occupation had similarly empowered other extremist groups to grow stronger against the women of Iraq, especially those who legislated the Jaafari law which allows the marriage of 5 year old girls to adult men.
Shame on a state which sends military envoys to kill us, divide us, supply Daesh with ammunition and empower women’s misogynist groups from one side, then hand awards for human rights to us in the other hand. We don’t want neither your awards nor your policies which have pushed Iraqi women to the bottom of the abyss.
Yanar Mohammed
President of Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq
April 4, 2017

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