you imagine being afraid to leave your home because of the
very real threat of attack--whether by bomb or bullet or stone?
This is a fear, a threat, Iraqi women have to live with every
April 2006, CODEPINK released
Women Under Siege, a detailed report on the status of Iraqi
women. In it, we describe the serious deterioration
of women's rights since the U.S. invasion. We explore how
the high level of violence in Iraq has constrained women's
lives and limited their options, leaving them and their families
to grapple with the traumatic impact of war both physically
also produced a video based on our sponsorship of a tour of
Iraqi women to the United States, Women
Say NO to War: Iraqi and American Women Speak Out.
You can order it here.
since we produced these materials, the situation of Iraqi
women has gotten dramatically worse. A recent Reuters
article documents how sectarian violence is forcing
Iraqi women from their jobs and into arranged marriages. We
receive heartbreaking letters from our friends in Iraq on
a regular basis. Here is an excerpt from one we received a
country before the war in 2003 was beautiful, clean, shiny,
full of historic monuments and huge universities. The streets
were full of people working, visiting friends and families,
drinking tea until very late at night.
country was full of colors. Today the only colors are red
and dark, red by the blood and dark by the smoke of bombs
and cars burning.
are ready to clean our country, we are ready to rebuild
our country with our hands, we are ready to forget that
our petrol and our history were stolen. All we ask for is
security. Is it so much to ask for?
security is almost impossible to come by for Iraqi women.
In the Kurdish north, the part of the country insulated from
most of the violence, the situation of women has reached new
lows. Du'a Khalil Aswad, a 17 year
old from the town of Bashiqa, in Iraqi Kurdistan, was stoned
to death on April 7, 2007. She came from a family
of Yazidi faith, and was snatched from her home by Yazidi
men who had discovered that she was in love with a Muslim
Arab man and had visited him. In front of hundreds of people,
including local police, they dragged her to the center of
town and stoned her to death. Townspeople watched and even
filmed this barbaric act. You can see a portion of the tape
(viewer discretion is STRONGLY advised). The killers,
obviously well known in the community, are still free.
have created a petition which demands that the Iraqi Government
and Kurdistan Regional Government condemn this brutal act
and bring the killers to justice and that they outlaw honor
killings, as well as all violence and oppression of women.
You can sign it here.
will deliver this petition to the Iraqi Embassy and Kurdish
Representatives in Washington, DC. Together we can raise our
voices to help our sisters in Iraq.
further information about the status of Iraqi women, and to
learn how women in Iraq are organizing to fight for their
own rights, please visit the website of the Organization
of Women's Freedom in Iraq.
outrage and compassion,
Dana, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle,
Jodie, Karin, Libby, Medea, Nancy, Patricia, Rae and Samantha
On the home front, we need to continue to pressure Congress
to end the war and bring our troops home. Sign up to join
our Phone-A-Thon this
summer and give your community an easy way to speak out against
war. For more information, click here.