This War

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In case General Petraeus runs out of time before testifying to Congress about the experiences of Iraqi women, here’s what human rights organizations think you should know:

According to the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq [OWFI], “lack of personal security” is the biggest problem facing Iraqi women since the post Sept. 11 invasion:

Rape has dramatically increased in the social chaos following the US invasion. In the first four months of occupation, OWFI collected 400 accounts of rape and abduction. ‘Honor killings’ of rape survivors by male family members have increased as the incidence of rape has risen. . . .

Since the US invaded Iraq, women there have endured a wave of death threats, assassinations, abductions, public beatings, targeted sexual assaults, and public hangings.  . . . In much of Iraq, women are virtually confined to their homes because of the likelihood of being beaten, raped, or abducted in the streets. As the occupying power, the US was obligated by the Hague and Geneva Conventions to provide security to Iraqi civilians, including protection from violence against women. But the US military, preoccupied with battling the Iraqi insurgency, simply ignored the reign of terror that Islamist militias were imposing on women. In fact, the US enabled these attacks: in 2005, the Pentagon began providing the Shiite Badr Brigade and Mahdi Army with weapons, money, and military training in the hope that these groups would help combat the Sunni-based insurgency.

Find out how the  OWFI and their sister organization Madre are responding to Violence Against Women Under US Occupation,  here and here.

-Kathleen Bergin  


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0 Responses to This War

  1. bob coley jr says:

    the plight of the oppressed is a sad, sad thing. The fact that the US. can look the other way as the abuse of women, or anyone for that matter, continues is even sadder. There can be no reason, economic or political or religous, that can be given that would excuse our participation in helping anyone engaged in such gross violations of human rights. Not money, not democacy (hmmm), not religion, not anything. We should instead isolate offenders and spend billons per month helping victims. Is oil/money/standard of living worth our souls? I supose one must have a soul to lose it.