Update from the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq
Posted on: Tuesday, January 5, 2010
OWFI wishes you a happy New Year. We hope that 2010 becomes a year of achievement and empowerment for women around the world.
We thank all those who supported and helped us become a strong voice towards change in Iraq.
Our endeavours against trafficking, honour-killing and domestic abuse have touched the lives of many women and girls in 2009.
Please take a look at our brief update.
Best wishes and a happy new year,
- Yanar Mohammed
When honour-killing was her verdict, and the persecutors were her sons, she had nowhere else to go. OWFI's shelter in her city took her in and protected her until a solution could be resolved. In this house, a teen-ager and an older woman also escaped beatings and honour-killing.
OWFI has three houses in three cities. "Women will not be sacrificed," is a goal OWFI realizes in these shelters.
Not only are women kept safe in OWFI shelters, but also they have opportunities to learn computer literacy and the principles of human rights.
A 12-year-old girl should not be sold into sexual slavery because she lost her family and with it any chance of a “normal” life. OWFI's anti-trafficking activist team (including former victims of trafficking themselves) continues to grow as women transform from victims to defenders.
Women's Prisons Watch has fueled an international campaign to stop the death penalty against 12 women, while aiming to repeal the death penalty altogether from Iraqi laws.
Women-friendly social movement
When the young artists of Sadre city need a free space to sing, play music and recite poetry, OWFI provides them with the women-friendly Freedom Space, where the music of love mixes with the poetry of freedom.
Al Mousawat (equality) Radio
When the intellectual youth of Sadre city, Baghdad, Basra, and Mosul seek to shape their own future, against the prevailing religious-militias culture, Al Mousawat radio is there.
When female university graduates are fully covered in black in their own neighbourhoods, Al Mousawat allows their unveiled thoughts and voices to fuel the urge for freedom in millions of Iraqi women and men.
When the anti-militia secular young men join in to support the women's voices, a new kind of media is born in Iraq. This media will not compromise freedom, equality and secularism.
We shipped the transmitters from Italy and installed them in a location overlooking Al Ferdawse Square where Sadam's statue fell.
Since October, our 18 meter high Antenna takes our voices of freedom to millions of households.
In a recent talk-show, OWFI asked listeners for their views concerning full equality for Iraqi citizens, especially women. From 31 calls received, 29 were in support of equality, while only two were against.
If you have a say about what needs to be done in Iraq, write us, and add your voice to the voices of freedom and equality … Al Mousawat … In Iraq.
OWFI’s empowerment of women was possible due to the relentless and heroic work of determined women: Dalal Jumaa, Aliaa Husein, Hind Al Assadi, J. Al. G., Wedian Al Mamoury, Sanaa Hashim, Houzan Mahmoud, Rega Raouf-Svensson, Kayt C. Peck, Yanar Mohammed and others.
Special thanks go to the individuals who contributed their time, skills and efforts to realize Al Mousawat radio project: Muayad Ahmad, Muhannad Al Shammary, Wisaam Yousif, Falah Alwan, Marwan and others.
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MADRE & Our Partners Make News
Iraqi government 'likely complicit' in persecution of LGBT community (The Guardian, November 19, 2014)
LGBT Iraqis face 'imminent risk of death' under Islamic State (Washington Blade, November 19, 2014)
Iraq: "When Coming Out is a Death Sentence" (San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, November 19, 2014)
The World's Obsession With Schoolgirls As Victims, And Why It's Putting Them In Danger (Think Progress, November 9, 2014)
Forbidden Talk - Prostitution in the Middle East (Levant TV, October 7, 2014)