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The War on Iraq: Six Years of Women's Resistance

Posted on: Monday, March 16, 2009

Keywords: Iraq, Middle East, Combating Violence Against Women, Human Rights Advocacy


After Six Years, Some US troops Will Leave Iraq. But Where Are We Leaving Iraqi Women?
March 16, 2009

If you haven’t thought about the Iraq War as a story of US allies systematically torturing and executing women, you’re not alone. Likewise, if you were under the impression that Iraqi women were somehow better off under their new, US-sponsored government.

In the spring of 2003, Fatin was a student of architecture at Baghdad University. Her days were filled with classes and hanging out in her favorite of Baghdad’s many cafes, where she and her friends studied, shared music, and spun big plans for successful careers, happy marriages, and eventually, kids.

Today, Fatin says that those feel like someone else's dreams. Read more>>


Demand a Withdrawal of US Troops from Iraq

Children holding up peace signs - © Terry AllenThis week marks six years since the US invaded Iraq. In that time, women have not only faced mounting violence—they have also organized a movement to confront US occupation and violence against women.

The women of Iraq are creating the foundation on which a peaceful and just future will be built. It’s time we started listening to them.

Help us tell President Obama that now is the time for change. Sign the petition today.




MADRE in Iraq: The Last Six Years

MADRE has been protesting the war in Iraq since its very beginning. Below is a series of articles we've written on the topic.


10 Reasons to Oppose US Militarization of Aid and Reconstruction in Iraq
April 13, 2003

Woman in Iraq carries scrap from bombing site - © Daniel Smith

Now that Bush's illegal invasion has given way to illegal occupation, how should we understand his promise to the Iraqi people? The US insists on exercising direct military control over the administration of humanitarian aid and reconstruction in Iraq. We believe these processes should be handled by independent agencies of the United Nations. Here are 10 reasons why. Read more>>


US-Appointed Council Abolishes Rights of Iraqi Women: MADRE Supports International Campaign to Repeal Resolution 137
January 30, 2004

Young Iraqi woman - © Terry Allen

MADRE, an international women's human rights organization, opposes the imposition of Islamic law on the people of Iraq by the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (IGC). Under IGC Resolution 137, issued on December 29, 2003, arbitrary interpretations of religious law threaten to replace one of the Middle East's most progressive personal status laws. The Resolution gravely threatens women’s rights, undermines prospects for democracy and foments a dangerous sectarianism in an already destabilized society. Read more>>


Iraq's Second-Class Citizens
August 18, 2005

A  woman in a hospital holds her baby - © Terry Allen

Like religious fundamentalists in the United States and around the world, [Islamists] use religion as a means of asserting a reactionary political agenda that begins with the subjugation of women within the family. That's why the first battle over the new constitution concerns family status laws governing marriage, divorce and women's inheritance and property rights. The Islamists are pushing to replace Iraq’s current statutes—among the most progressive in the Middle East—with language that would subordinate women’s human rights to arbitrary interpretations of Islamic law. The Bush administration bears direct responsibility for this crisis. Read more>>


The Iraq Debate: Looking for a Few Good Principles
December 5, 2006

A  woman holds up a picture of her son - © Daniel SmithWith debate raging about what the US should do in Iraq, one thing is clear: nobody has a full solution to the horror that the US has unleashed. Yet, this week’s release of the Iraq Study Group’s (ISG) report offers some hope—not because the ISG is calling to bring home the troops quickly (they’re not) or because their recommendations will yield justice for Iraqis (they won’t). On balance, the ISG’s conclusions don’t depart much from plans emerging from the White House these days.   The value of the ISG report is that it makes it official: Bush’s Iraq policy is a failure. Read more>>



Beyond the Surge: Demanding an End to Bush's War
January 11, 2007

Yanar - © Organization of Women's Freedom in IraqWednesday night, Bush the Decider announced his intention to throw gasoline on the inferno he ignited in Iraq. He will send in another 21,500 US soldiers, who will kill and injure many more Iraqis and may be killed themselves. Bush's move shows total contempt for the demands of public opinion and the better judgment of Congress, the Iraq Study Group, and his own top generals (two of whom had to be replaced in order to push the plan through). This decision is not just "stay the course." It is speed up the course even though you're headed straight off a cliff.  Read more>>

Iraqi Women Say No to US Occupation, No to Islamist Violence: Will US Progressives Stand with Them?
March 19, 2008

Yanar - © Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq

Right–wing intellectuals like to talk about a “clash of civilizations” dividing the United States from the Middle East. But the real clash is not between “Western” democracies and “Eastern” theocracies; it is between those who uphold the full range of human rights—including women’s right to a life free of violence—and those who pursue economic and political power for a privileged few at the expense of the world’s majority. In this clash, no one is predestined to be on one side or the other by virtue of her culture, religion, or nationality. We choose our position and our actions based on our principles. Those of us who choose to stand in defense of human rights in Iraq should seek out and listen to progressive Iraqis, including the thousands of Iraqi women who are struggling for women’s rights within their country and for their country’s right to freedom from US domination. Read more>>



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