Since its 2014 invasion of northern Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has made women a target of its extremist agenda. Where ISIS now rules, women have been forbidden to work and go to school. ISIS fighters have raped and kidnapped women into sexual slavery. They have executed women who insist on exercising their basic rights.
MADRE's local partner is the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI). Together with you, we provide humanitarian aid, shelter and safe passage, including to women survivors of ISIS sexual slavery.
In the brutal landscape of Iraq’s conflict, vulnerable Iraqis have a place to turn.
Activists like our partners at OWFI are there. This is their country, and they know the lay of the land. When others can’t or won’t help, these women have the knowledge to navigate every obstacle and get aid where it’s needed. We must ensure that people escaping the violence of war have all necessary aid. The best way to do that is to support these local activists.
Yifat Susskind, MADRE Executive Director
- Threatened women find escape, protection from rape, and friends to lean on.
- Women who seek refuge in OWFI's shelters receive human rights education and rebuild their lives as empowered activists.
- Governments create policies that protect women, and empowered citizens demand rights for women, ethnic and religious minorities and LGBT Iraqis.
Your Support in Action
In the nearly two years since ISIS invaded Iraq, we’ve heard countless stories of despair. Of entire families killed, of girls and women raped and sold into sexual slavery. It’s easy to feel helpless after hearing such horrific stories.
But amid these horrors, there are glimmers of hope. Take Awaz and Fairoz, for example.
The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) is a truly pioneering national women’s organization dedicated to rebuilding Iraq on the basis of secular democracy and human rights for all.
Rape used as a weapon of war. Domestic abuse used to enforce submission. Worldwide, women face violence that strips them of power and agency. It devastates those who are targeted and destroys the social fabric of families, communities and societies. But women are stepping up to stop it.