RE; Women In Iraq - Past, Present and Future!
Since 1952, when it was founded, the Iraqi Women’s League (IWL) has played a significant role in the struggle against tyranny and oppression in Iraq.
Over the years, the IWL has lost many of their members, who have fallen victim to the ruthless methods of repression carried out by Saddam Hussain’s Ba’th Party.
The Iraqi Women’s League has a broad membership made up of women from different social and religious backgrounds, including Muslims (Shi’ite and Sunni), Christians, Baptists, Jews and non-believers. The League works to represent Iraq women regardless of their ethnicity and political beliefs.
After the democratic revolution, which took place in Iraq in 1958, the IWL proposed to the new government laws that gave employment, educational and inheritance rights to women in Iraq.
During this time, the campaigns that were led by the Iraqi Women’s League were so successful that many of the proposed laws were adopted and in 1959 the president of the League, Dr. Naziha al-Dulaimi, even won a seat in the cabinet of the democratic government.
After the military coup, which brought the Ba’th Party to power, many members of the IWL were executed or "disappeared". Thousands more were tortured, raped and imprisoned just for being members of a democratic organisation. For those that "disappeared", the League is still in the dark as to their whereabouts and for some, their remains have recently been uncovered by surviving relatives.
Since the invasion of Iraq by coalition Forces, the IWL have continued their work, "publicly", by bringing to the attention of the international community, the situation that women now face, as well as still fighting for democratic rights.
They have stated, that the post-war situation has brought about a dangerous environment for women in Iraq and that women are now barely seen on the streets unless accompanied by men.
The Iraqi Women’s League are also calling for the following demands to be initiated, to help alleviate the suffering that has been brought about by years of dictatorship and war.
Demands like, "End the Occupation", the immediate distribution of "medical supplies, based upon what Iraqi nurses and doctors say is needed rather than what pharmaceutical companies want to sell", "a welfare system, as people are now on low and without incomes" and the most vulnerable are people like "single parents and their children, the elderly and those with disabilities", along with the guaranteed "protection of women’s rights according to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child".
On Thursday 11th March, at the Friends Meeting house on Mount Street, Manchester, the Iraq Solidarity Campaign will be holding a meeting, which will be addressed by a speaker from the Iraqi Women’s League.
The meeting will be focussed around the issues that now face Iraqi women and their families, in light of the collapse of Saddam’s regime and the current occupation.
It will begin at 7-30pm and is open to all interested persons and anyone who would like more information can contact the ISC on 0161 882 0188 / 07946 783 801 or write to the Campaign C/o Bridge 5 Mill, 22a Beswick Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 7HR.
Mrs. A.M. Parkinson.
The Iraq Solidarity Campaign
(Formerly the Coalition Against Sanctions and War on Iraq)