Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Women for Women Work Post Conflicts

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Women for Women Work Post Conflicts

Article excerpt

Human Rights

Women For Women International co-founder Zainab Salbi talked about her work with women in post-conflict situations at a March 8, 2005 Palestine Center briefing in Washington, DC. Salbi asserted the importance of getting women to the negotiating tables in a post-conflict situation, saying that if they do not represent themselves, their rights will be restricted if not negotiated away. She pointed out the positive example of just such a strategy in Rwanda, and hoped for a similar situation in Iraq, especially as she is Iraqi herself.

Salbi also stressed the need to talk about what she called micro issues-not just the big conflicts-because addressing micro issues brings tangible results relatively quickly. To that end, Women For Women offers training in civil rights, vocational education, and micro-credit for small business. Salbi pointed out that with such tools at her disposal a woman changes from victim to survivor to active citizen.

Regarding Iraq in particular, Salbi said that deposed President Saddam Hussain used the "woman card" in a clever way-giving and taking rights as needed, especially during the 1970s and '80s, but that it was all packaging. …

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