MADRE Articles

Promising Democracy, Imposing Theocracy: Gender-Based Violence and the US War on Iraq

Posted on: Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Keywords: Women's Health, Combating Violence Against Women, Peace Building, Iraq, Middle East

MADRE has released a groundbreaking report on the incidence, causes, and legalization of gender-based violence in Iraq since the US-led invasion. Amidst the chaos and violence of US-occupied Iraq, women—in particular those who are perceived to pose a challenge to the political project of their attackers—have increasingly been targeted because they are women. Today, they are subjected to unprecedented levels of assault in the public sphere, "honor killings," torture in detention, and other forms of gender-based violence. Promising Democracy, Imposing Theocracy documents the use of gender-based violence by Iraqi Islamists, brought to power by the US overthrow of Iraq's secular Ba'ath regime, and highlights the role of the United States in fomenting the human rights crisis confronting Iraqi women today.

A re-telling of the Iraq war from the perspective of Iraqi women illuminates the strong links between women's human rights and democratic rights in general and the Bush Administration's clear contempt for both.

This report is dedicated to the courageous women of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq and to all Iraqis working to build a democratic, secular Iraq free of military occupation and religious coercion.

Special thanks to Yanar Mohammed, director of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq.

Read the report

View video of report release event

Written by Yifat Susskind, Communications Director

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