Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, April 07, 2008

Iraqi widows continue to suffer poverty and loneliness

With the unremitting violence in Iraq, the number of widows continues to escalate, The Associated Press reported Sunday. A January 2007 survey has put the widow population at 738,240 women between the ages of 15 and 80.

The article gives several accounts of women who have become widowed due to violence. After the death of their husbands, most women are forced to move in with family members because they cannot afford to live independently.

Samira al-Moussawi, and Iraqi lawmaker, proposed legislation that would have set aside $1 million to educate widows and increase their meager pensions. The legislation was rejected.

Under Saddam Hussein, war widows were granted larger pensions, as well as plots of land.

“Back then, widows were taken care of better than they are now,” said Jalilia Hassan, whose husband was killed in the Iran-Iraq war. “We were not left in destitution.”

Another widow, Badriyah Hamid adds, “My husband was everything in my life. Without him, life is extremely difficult because no one can help us and no one can fill the gap he left. But besides the financial burdens on my shoulders, I have to care about the morality of my children and protect them from the evils of society.”

For the full article, click here.


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