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Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq

Partner in Iraq

A National Women’s Organization Dedicated to Rebuilding Iraq

The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), founded in 2003, is pioneering work to rebuild Iraq with secular democracy and human rights for all. OWFI has developed innovative anti-violence and political empowerment strategies for women across Iraq. OWFI advocates on behalf of women who are most marginalized, including those who are incarcerated, widowed, displaced or battered.

OWFI is combating a sharp rise in violence against women that has gripped Iraq, in particular since the ISIS invasion. OWFI provides comprehensive services to women who have been targeted with violence, including the first women’s shelters in the non-Kurdish part of Iraq. They established women's shelters to provide Iraqi women with a safe place to turn for security and support, and advocate on behalf of the most marginalized populations in Iraq, including those who are incarcerated, widowed, displaced, battered, or victims or at risk of honor crimes. 

OWFI's work in Iraq

OWFI delivered lifesaving aid in Mosul

OWFI responded to the urgent needs of Iraqi women and families, displaced by war. They delivered food baskets and lifesaving aid in refugee camps around Iraq. 

OWFI provides vital job training, including sewing and embroidery classes so that the women can find work in their new community and use these skills to earn income and stand on their own two feet. 

Your support helped OWFI give these survivors lifesaving support, including medical care, food and shelter. They have arranged for counseling services to help the girls heal after the unimaginable traumas they’ve endured.  

Your Support in Action

“If I stay, I know I will die. To live, I must escape.”

Meet The Activists

These brave women work with OWFI to run our brand new shelter and rape crisis center for Yazidi girls who have survived ISIS sexual slavery. They infuse their work with hope for the future of Iraq.

Fairoz and Awaz

Awaz is a trained social worker, counseling the young girls and women who come to the shelter to heal. Fairoz teaches skills to grow confidence and earn income. Many of the women are learning to read and write for the first time. The classes, Fairoz hopes, will help to transform the lives of these young women after the horrors they’ve endured.

Awaz, Fairoz and the rest of the advocates at OWFI usher women and girls fleeing ISIS to the safety of our shelters, and so much more. Through human rights education at their shelters, they also are imagining – and rebuilding – a peaceful Iraq. And they do it with your support.

Yanar Mohammed, Co-founder and President

Ms. Mohammed is a prominent Iraqi feminist who was born in Baghdad. She is one of the most prominent women's rights campaigners in Iraq, and received the Gruber Foundation Women’s Rights Prize in 2008. 

Under her leadership, OWFI’s programs have expanded to include news broadcasts, tolerance workshops for human rights to combat societal discrimination and negative attitudes towards women and LGBT Iraqis, and staging weekly protests advocating political participation for women.