In an op-ed published today, MADRE Executive Director Yifat Susskind and Yanar Mohammed of the Organization for Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) spoke jointly about the decade of occupation and its impact on women's rights:
If you talk to women in war zones anywhere, they'll tell you that domestic violence increases in war-time. But in Iraq, violence against women has also been systematic. And unknown to most Americans, it has been orchestrated by some of the very forces that the US boosted to power.
Like religious fundamentalists everywhere, these sectarian militias and clerics have a social vision for their country that depends on subjugating women. But because the US wagered that they could deliver stability, these men were cultivated as allies in Iraq. As we now know, they never even got the stability they traded women's rights for.
The dynamic was clearly at work in the drafting of Iraq's constitution, heavily brokered by the US. To pass it, the US needed support from Islamist parties. They got it by trading away women's rights.
To read the full text of the op-ed, click here.
Ms. Susskind is available today for further comment and can be contacted through Kaitlyn Soligan of MADRE via phone or email.
Available for interview:
Yifat Susskind, MADRE Executive Director, works with women's human rights activists from Latin America, Africa, and theMiddle East, creating programs to address violence against women, economic development, climate change, armed conflict and more.