Under the Black Blanket

02/11/12

The Forgotten Fate of Women in Iraq

Segregated Iraqi women waiting to vote in elec...

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We rarely hear about the fate of Iraqi women after the war, just as we don't hear much about the rest of the wreckage left behind by War Criminal W's great folly in our name.  The American-led Operation Enduring Freedom is over, and what endures is a new tyranny, with religious rather than secular underpoinnings.

Iraq has already executed 65 people in 2012, and it's barely a month in.

From a report by the Canada-based Global Research:

Drawing on stereotypes regarding the position of women in Arab and Muslim societies, US and British officials have defended the occupation regime in Iraq by suggesting its positive effects for women's emancipation. These claims not only ignored the considerable advancements in women's education and employment made during the first twenty years of Baa'thist rule; they also cover up the particularly detrimental impact of US-UN-imposed sanctions on Iraqi women during the 1990s. Similarly, these stereotypes distract attention from the further deterioration of women's rights and access to education and employment under the religious fundamentalist occupation regime. Drawing on a comprehensive statistical survey, Dr.Souad Al Azzawi showed that the deteriorating security situation drove Iraqi women out of work. At least 85% of educated women are unemployed.[25][26]
 
In spite of reports of a decline in violence in Iraq as a whole, nearly 60% of women surveyed (Oxfam 2009) said that security and safety remained their most pressing concern. The survey importantly illustrated that the ripples of conflict have washed over almost every aspect of many women's lives - and those of their families.[27]
 
"Eight years after the US invasion, life in Iraq is actually getting worse for women and minorities, while journalists and detainees face significant rights violations," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, on 21 February 2011. "The women and girls of Iraq have borne the biggest brunt of this conflict and resulting insecurity," Stork said. "For Iraqi women, who enjoyed some of the highest levels of rights protection and social participation in the region before 1991, this has been an enormously bitter pill to swallow."[28]
 
Hundreds of women have been targeted and killed as professionals or for their public role in Iraq. In the medical profession alone, many have fled or abandoned their work, triggering a brain drain and crippling the health system. And there are now two million widows, most of them without financial means or government support.
 
While both men and women are kidnapped, the trauma of the abduction for many women does not end with the release. The shame associated with the event is a lasting stigma. Such incidents are probably underreported by families for the same reason.[29]
 
And it's not getting better.  A report, released in August 2011 by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and your Office, noted that women's rights in some ways deteriorated in 2010 and children continue to suffer from violence and armed conflict.[30]
 
U.S.-led coalition forces showed higher rates of indiscriminate killing of women and children than insurgents, a study has found in 2011.[31]
 
Read it all here.
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