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[casi-analysis] Women in Iraq - Past, Present and Future!

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The Iraq Solidarity Campaign

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 

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 

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.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. A.M. Parkinson.

The Iraq Solidarity Campaign                                     (Formerly the Coalition Against 
Sanctions and War on Iraq)

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