Iraqi Women: Lost Liberties

, by Alternatives International

According to a UN report entitled "Iraq 2010 Humanitarian Action Plan" (2010), overall security in Iraq has begun to stabilize and the presence of humanitarian actors has had a positive impact on the observance of human rights in the country. There has been a significant decrease in violent and deadly attacks by armed militias and criminal gangs, however serious and systematic human rights violations persist and are even increasing, with women and visible minorities being its main victims. With regard specifically to Iraqi women, they once enjoyed unprecedented rights in the region, but following thirty years of war their freedom has been constrained by countless political, socioeconomic, and cultural factors. What are the effects of violence against women in Iraq? And what measures can be implemented by the government and women’s organizations or NGOs, both local and international, to alleviate the harsh realities faced by the majority of Iraqi women?

This policy paper attempts to answer these questions in order to propose recommendations for improving the daily lives of the women of Iraq. If we wish to promote peace, it is of urgent importance to support— if not to realize— efforts to respect the fundamental human rights of Iraqi women.