Magazine article Women in Action

Post-War Iraq Still a Grim Scenario for Women: The Situation of Women in Post-War Iraq Is Grim, Reports Madre, an International Women's Human Rights Organisation

Magazine article Women in Action

Post-War Iraq Still a Grim Scenario for Women: The Situation of Women in Post-War Iraq Is Grim, Reports Madre, an International Women's Human Rights Organisation

Article excerpt

Reports compiled by Madre show Iraqi women are worse off now that the country is in the hands of its so-called liberators, namely the United States. Women's rights are not a priority of the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which is tasked to lead Iraq's "reconstruction." In this scenario, women see continuous violations against their personal security, health care rights, economic security, and food and water security. Even their political participation has been limited, if not totally stricken out.

Reports document more women to be suffering from the general lack of state security in Iraq. Women and girls are reportedly being abducted and raped by rebel forces on a regular basis. Within the first four months of the U.S. occupation alone, about 400 Iraqi women were documented to have been abducted and raped. As a consequence, a rise has been noted in the number of "honour killings" due to the perceived "given shame" rape and abuse victims supposedly bring to their families. Parents have also pulled their young daughters out of school for fear of being violated. In addition, Iraqi women and girls become collateral damage when U.S. soldiers use increasingly aggressive tactics against guerrilla fighters, oblivious to the danger these pose to civilians. Women's groups and organisations have already approached the CPA with this problem, but Madre states their concerns and pleas are being neglected or ignored.

Whatever little was left of the women's economic security from Saddam Hussein's regime is slowly dissolving under the U.S. occupation. With the CPA's plan to privatise businesses in Iraq, non-Iraqis are given priority in employment while women are not, even if there are qualified Iraqis to do the job. Women cannot even assert themselves in this sector because of their lack of influence and general participation in another realm--politics. …

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