Women are used to settle vendettas in Iraq

This is not exactly news to anyone who has actually followed the Iraq war, but let me tell you, if the full details of each atrocity were covered by the U.S. media, U.S. support for the war would fall fast.

A piece from Alternet:

The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) recently issued a frightening report documenting the growing practice of public executions of women by Shia Militia. One of the report’s more grisly accounts was a story of a young woman dragged by a wire wound around her neck to a close-by football field and then hung to the goal post. They pierced her body with bullets. Her brother came running trying to defend his sister. He was also shot and killed. Sunni extremists are no better: OWFI members estimate that no less than 30 women are executed monthly for honor related reasons.

I cannot think of one single, fucking reason as to why a woman has to be tortured this way. There is NO reason at all.

I wonder what changed in Iraq – besides the U.S. making a clusterfuck out of that nation I mean. From the same article:

Before the U.S. invasion, Iraqi women had high levels of education. Their strong and independent women’s movement had successfully forced Saddam’s government to pass the groundbreaking 1959 Family Law Act which ensured equal rights in matters of personal law. Iraqi women could inherit land and property; they had equal rights to divorce and custody of their children; they were protected from domestic violence within the marriage. In other words, they had achieved real gains in the struggle for equality between women and men. Iraqi women, like all Iraqis, certainly suffered from the political repression and lack of freedom, but the secular — albeit brutal — Baathist regime protected women from the religious extremism that denies freedom to a majority of women in the Arab world.

The invasion of Iraq, however, changed the status of Iraqi women for the worse. Iraq’s new colonial power, the United States, elevated a new group of leaders, most of who were allied with ultra conservative Shia clerics. Among the Sunni minority, the quick disappearance of their once dominant political power led to a resurgence of religious identity. Consequently, the Kurds, celebrated for their history of resistance to the Iraqi dictator, were able to reclaim traditions like honor killings, putting thousands of women at risk.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Sadam is sentenced to hang, but there is no reason at all why the existing laws had to be gutted for some other extreme laws. Also, I’m not Iraqi, so I can’t vouch for the laws in question in Iraq, but the author of the article, Kavita N. Ramdas, president of the Global Fund for Women, is a much more knowledgeable about these issues than George W. Bush, or for that matter, the entire Iraq Study Group.


17 Responses to Women are used to settle vendettas in Iraq

  1. […] Women are used to settle vendettas in Iraq from [trulyequal.wordpress.com] […]

  2. truckerswife says:

    Women have always been a target but not much more, and Bush doesn’t want to admit it.

  3. No, women shouldn’t be treated in this way and they shouldn’t have to suffer. However, we’re talking about a country that has no moral bearings or standards as to how humans should be treated. Over there, men are the absolute race and women are just there, to tie up loose ends and to be used as tools. It’s a shitty system.

  4. Gracie says:

    Incredibly disturbing but not shocking. How are the Iraqi’s any better off today than before we invaded? Hmmmmm.

  5. truly.equal says:

    The current events in Iraq are both disturbing and shocking to say the least. Iraqis were “better off” before Bush invaded in many accounts, but the most obvious ones are the increased, horrific daily violence (before, the only violence was from Saddam as retaliation to whom he thought were his enemies) and the deterioration of all aspects and all services of Iraqi society.

    It’s not that men there are the absolute race (South Dakota, anyone?), it is just that for thousands of years, a bunch of powerful idiots have interpreted a religious scriptures and beliefs to an extreme degree, and the violence has just made everything worse.

    Oh, and thanks for visiting my blog! I really appreciate it.

  6. Does anyone know where to get a copy of OWFI’s report. I looked on their website and couldn’t identify it.

  7. Important post, Truly Equal, and good response to Shaved review.

    Shaved, how many Iraqis do you know to come to that incredible appraisal, ‘no moral bearings’? We’re only talking the cradle of civilisation here. Sounds like blaming the victim to me. The current US maladministration is doing a pretty good job in the “no moral bearings” dept. I am a woman practically raised by Middle Eastern men and I take exception to your comment.

    The US troops looting and in some cases destroying the priceless historic treasures of the Iraqi museums, and the wilful rape and massacres by US servicemen at Haditha and elsewhere, seem pretty disgusting to me. Do we tar all American men by these abhorrent actions?

    The position of women in Iraq wasn’t perfect (but better in Saddam’s time), but neither is it in the west. As Charles Fourier once noted, “The degree of emancipation of woman is the natural measure of general emancipation….”

    And our general emancipation right now is pretty stuffed.

  8. Here are but three corroborating references FYI:

    Eight US Marines were charged yesterday over the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, in the town of Haditha last year (Times Online)

    Civil War as foreign policy

    UK snipers caught out posing as Iraqis

  9. Nasir says:

    This is terrible.

  10. Arvind says:

    Iraqi society has suffered under American invasion. While Saddam Hussein’s regime was brutal, still it was largely secular. The US has succeeded in ousting a socialist dictator with chaos under religious parties and where the law is through the barrel of a gun.

    I hope sectarian violence will not plunge Iraq into total civil war between Shia and Sunni, though it seems that events are heading in that direction with American soldiers powerless to stop it. In fact, in some ways they are furthering the chaos as an occupation army.

    I feel terrible for soldiers stuck in this worsening situation but even more sad for Iraqis who live now and in the future with the consequences of our mismanaged intervention.

  11. veravenom says:

    Shaved – you say that like it’s not true everywhere.

  12. truly.equal says:

    Hi all, here is the link for Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq:


    The report is in there as well.

  13. kefale says:

    Hello! I’m chilean, I’ll write in spanish because my english stink! Hugs!
    Desde Chile, el otro lado del mundo, les cuento que nunca se ha mirado con buenos ojos todo esto de la invasión…desde el principio la opinión pública se mostró desfavorable.
    Me da mucha pena la actitud de Bush y de parte del pueblo estadounidense, pareciera estar muy influido por las películas del cine o de las series de TV en las cuales siempre hay una conspiración en contra de EEUU y finalmente algún patrótico héroe salva la situación y devuelve la paz a su país y de paso al mundo.
    La vida no es una película… acá en Chile cosas muy terribles sucedieron durante el régimen de Pinochet, quien recientemente ha muerto, y de la misma forma como en vuestro país, la prensa fue manipulada de tal forma, que dentro de Chile nadie sabía lo que pasaba, y mucha gente no creía las noticias que llegaban desde el extranjero…
    EEUU necesita cambiar cierta conciencia megalómana que tiene, sabemos que es el país más poderoso e influyente, pero eso no significa nada más que esto: el que más puede más debe ayudar y ser recto… no creo que esto seal algo que Bush reflexione.
    Bueno, un gran saludo y fuerza.
    Feliz Navidad y buen año 2007 para todos.

  14. arsenalist says:

    Hey kefale, I just translated what you said on Babel Fish. Some sentences end up sounding kinda funny.

    From Chile, the other side of the world, them story that never has watched with good eyes all this of the invasion… from the beginning the public opinion showed unfavorable. He gives to much pain the attitude me of Bush and from the American town, it seemed to be very influenced by the films of the cinema or of the series of TV in which always there is a conspiracy against the U.S.A. and finally some patrótico hero saves the situation and gives back La Paz to his country and of passage to the world. The life is not a film… in Chile very terrible things happened here during the regime of Pinochet, that recently is dead, and of the same form like in your country, the press was manipulated of such form, that within Chile nobody knew what happened, and much people did not believe the news that arrived from the foreigner… The U.S.A. needs to change certain megalómana conscience that it has, we know that it is the most powerful and influential country, but that does not mean nothing else that this: the one that more can more must help and to be straight… I do not believe that this seal something that Bush reflects. Good, a great greeting and force. Merry Christmas and good year 2007 for all.

  15. truly.equal says:


    Thanks for the kind gesture of translating Kefale’s comments in English – I was just going to do it.

    Basically, people in Chile – who have gone through hell and back under a dictator – view this whole Iraq debacle with disdain and do not trust president Bush at all. And the societies in the U.S. do need to change their way of thinking as well.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  16. kefale says:

    I will do the try to write…
    Thank for the traslation Arsenalist! It’s great share our oppinions with other people…

  17. truly.equal says:

    Just in case, I added more news from Iraq on the blog, you can read the entries here:


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