Earlier this week, Iraq’s only female interim minister, Nasreen Barwari, escaped an assassination attempt near Mosul. Barawari’s three bodyguards were killed when gunmen opened fire on her convoy. According to Amnesty International, women and girls not wearing the hijab in Basra have been threatened and are afraid to go outside for fear of rape, abduction, and other violence.
Threats against women’s rights activists and Iraqi women leaders have been escalating in Iraq. Last month a leading women’s rights activist Holland, who worked tirelessly in Iraq to help Iraqi women achieve their rights, became one of the first American civilian employees of the Coalition Provisional Authority to be killed in Iraq. Earlier this year, an Iraqi women’s rights activist from Canada, Yanar Mohamed, received death threats for campaigning to repeal the US-backed Iraqi Governing Council’s Resolution 137 that would have put family law under Islamic law.