Since the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, economic, social and political aftershocks have thrust the country into chaos. Present- day Iraq is plagued by insecurity, a lack of infrastructure and controversial leadership, transforming the situation for women from one of relative autonomy and security before the war into a national crisis.
Before Saddam Hussein came to power in the 1970s, women in Iraq did not suffer the same types of repression as many other women around the world. They were encouraged to attend school, they could own property, they were allowed to divorce. In urban areas women held professional positions in government, medicine, law and the arts. Two wars, authoritarian repression and UN sanctions left most of Iraq in crippling poverty, with people struggling to meet the most basic needs.
In March 2003, women’s rights and gender equity were mentioned as symbolic issues for Iraq’s new national agenda. However, as the overall situation in Iraq began to deteriorate after the invasion, the focus on women was lost in the problems and violence facing the country as a whole.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
What are we doing for the women of Iraq?
Perhaps America could take a break from the discussions of super delegates and exit polls, and turn our attention to the dire situation for women in Iraq: