Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Militants threaten women’s rights activists in Iraq

An article written by the IRIN on Tuesday recounted the story of Haifaa Nour, the 33 year old president of the Women’s Freedom Organization (WFO) and her struggle as a female working in Iraq. She, like so many other women, is constantly threatened by Islamic extremists who believe that “women should stop fighting for their rights, and should only look after their children and husbands,” as Nour explained it.

Immediately after the U.S. invasion of Iraq began in 2003, the prospect of advancement for women’s rights was very good. However, with the deterioration of the state in the past two years, it has become almost impossible for women to work, especially for groups that promote women’s rights. Many receive death threats against their own lives or the lives their family members and are forced to leave their jobs. The government has done little to assist these women, and claims the violence is not specifically against women, but rather a result of the general violence throughout the region.

Haifaa Nour continues to work just as she has done since she became president in May after the former president of WFO, Senar Muhammad, was murdered by religious extremists. Her own husband was murdered a year ago because of her work for women’s rights, but she says that has only renewed her determination to work for women’s rights. Since then I have got more strength to fight for my rights,” stated Nour, “and those of millions of women in Iraq.”

For the full article, click here



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