The War Against Iraqi Women

With US forces in Iraq now funding both Sunni and Shia tribal leaders in an effort to stabilize the country, conditions for women grow deadlier by the day. Islamist leaders have imposed new restrictions on women, including prohibitions on work, bans on travel without a male guardian, and compulsory veiling.

BAGHDAD – Iraqi women’s organizations and international observers point to an escalating war against women in Iraq, aided by the widespread chaos and lawlessness under the US occupation. In addition to violence by US troops inside and outside of prisons, women in Iraq face daily violence from militants under the guise of religion and “liberation.”

In Iraq’s second largest city, Basra, a stronghold of conservative Shia groups, as many as 133 women were killed last year for violating “Islamic teachings” and in so-called “honor killings,” according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The methods are brutal evidence of a backlash by previously subdued tribal forces that have been unleashed by the occupation: women strangled and beheaded, and their hands, arms and legs chopped off.

With US forces in Iraq now funding both Sunni and Shia tribal leaders in an effort to stabilize the country, conditions for women grow deadlier by the day. Islamist leaders have imposed new restrictions on women, including prohibitions on work, bans on travel without a muhram (male guardian), and compulsory veiling.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

http://prosyn.org/KtFQmXZ;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.