Women’s Rights Groups in Iraq Threatened

Threats against women’s rights leaders and organizations have been increasing in Iraq over the past few weeks. According to IRIN News, women working for Women for Women International have received a series of threats that have kept half the staff at home for two days because of poor security. The other half went to Amman Jordan for safety. According to Anissa Badaoudi of the National NGO Support Working Group, other women’s organizations have been threatened as well, reports IRIN News.

Earlier this month, women’s rights activist Fern L. Holland was killed in Iraq. 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.

In addition, an Iraqi women’s rights activist from Canada, Yanar Mohamed, received death threats, for campaigning for the repeal of the US-backed Iraqi Governing Council’s Resolution 137 that would have put family law under Islamic law, earlier this year. Mohamed, the founder of the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq and the editor of the Equality newspaper, continues to receive death threats today for her work promoting women’s rights under the constitution, reports IRIN News.

Other leading Iraqi women have been targeted. Last fall, Aquila Hashima, one of only three women on Iraq’s Governing Council, was killed after her car was ambushed and Iraq’s Minister of Public Works Nasreen Barwari has also reported receiving threats.
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IRIN News 3/26/04; Feminist News Wire 3/12/04, 2/9/04

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