Friday, March 7, 2008

Iraqi Women Facing Crisis

The BBC reports that life has become significantly grimmer for Iraqi women since the start of the U.S. led invasion. A survey of 1,500 Iraqi women published by the group Women for Women International indicates that women now face a greater threat of violence and have fewer opportunities:
...63.9% or those questioned said violence against women was increasing. "When asked why, respondents most commonly said that there is less respect for women's rights than before, that women are thought of as possessions, and that the economy has gotten worse," [the study] said.

Some 76.2% said girls in their families were forbidden from attending school, while 68.3% described the availability of jobs for women as "bad".

More than 40% of did not think that the circumstances of women were being considered by those making decisions about Iraq's future.

As Women for Women International notes, fears that women's needs are not being considered are well-founded since, in its present form, the Iraqi constitution "... states that no law that contradicts Islam will be established. However, the interpretation of the text and laws at the local level can lead to further corrosion of women’s rights." You can learn more about the challenges facing Iraqi women and make a donation at the WFWI site.

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