MADRE News

Choose a news category:

MADRE Talking Points on Iraq: Six Years of "Liberation" and an Epidemic of Violence Against Women

Posted on: Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Keywords: Iraq, Middle East, Peace Building

Unleashing a Campaign of Violence

  • Since the US invasion of 2003, Iraqi women have endured a public campaign of harassment, beatings, abduction, rape, and assassinations.
  • The main perpetrators are militia fighters who see violence against women as a way to enforce their vision of Iraq as an Islamist state.
  • Anyone perceived to challenge that vision is in danger from the militias. Women professionals, artists, intellectuals, lesbians, and human rights activists have been specifically targeted.
Revoking Women’s Rights
  • The largest Islamist militias are the armed wings of Iraqi political parties brought to power by the US.
  • In 2003, US authorities hand-picked Islamist leaders to sit on the Iraqi Governing Council. The Council was presented in the US as the gateway to Iraqi democracy, yet these US appointees openly declared their intent to restrict women’s rights.
  • Once empowered, Islamists quickly moved to rescind Iraq’s 1959 family law which guaranteed women equal rights in crucial areas of life.
  • They also produced a constitution—with strong backing from the US—that discriminates against women in numerous ways.
Arming the Killers
  • In 2005, under a policy called the “Salvador Option,” the Pentagon began providing money, weapons, and military training to Shiite militias known to attack women wherever they patrolled.
  • Since early 2007, the US has also funded Sunni militias, including groups that murder women who do not dress or behave to their liking.
Fighting Back
  • Six years of occupation have demonstrated that the Bush Administration’s rhetoric about “liberating” Iraqi women was never more than an excuse for invading Iraq.
  • President Obama has pledged to draw down US military presence in Iraq but plans to leave as many as 50,000 troops through 2011.  
  • A recent poll shows that more than 80% of Iraqis support US withdrawal from Iraq.
  • Half-measures and partial reduction of US military forces are inadequate.  MADRE calls on the Obama Administration to:
    1. Withdraw all US troops, US-paid foreign mercenaries and contractors.
    2. Immediately close all US military bases and turn them over to Iraq.
    3. Renounce all efforts to control Iraq's oil resources.
    4. Assume responsibility for the humanitarian crisis that the US has caused in Iraq.
    5. Fund an Iraqi-led reconstruction process and uphold UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls for the full participation of women in all phases of reconstruction.
Partners for Peace
  • Many Iraqi women and men reject both the violence of US occupation and the repression of Islamist ideologues boosted to power by the occupation.  
  • These Iraqis have a vision of a multi-cultural, pluralistic Iraq grounded in genuine democracy and human rights. They share the broad progressive values of many in the anti-war movement and they deserve our support.

Learn more about Iraqi women demanding peace and women’s human rights and MADRE’s partnership with the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq.


« Back to "Press Room" Next Article »



Article Tools
Increase Font Decrease Font Reset Font Print Page Email Page


Archives

"Press Room" Home April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001

Contact

Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444
EMAIL: media@madre.org

Bring MADRE to You