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Iraqi uprising women icons

9-12-2019

In its issue of today, Al Akhbar newspaper spotlighted the extraordinary female presence in the ongoing protests in Iraq, popularly known as the ‘October Revolution’. Women in Iraq have become the icons and the real assets of the rebellion, present in the main revolt square, Al Tahrir, and in various areas in the southern provinces, Al Akhbar wrote. They help in the preparation of meals for the protestors, standing by them and chanting the slogans calling for reform and breaking the dominant patriarchal mindset prevalent in society. According to Al Akhbar, the contribution of the different feminist groups in supporting the protestors’ demands, indicates that Iraqi women have become more aware of their role and rights. Quoting activist Maysun Baidani, Al Akhbar said the current demands of the Iraqi women have gone beyond calls for employment. They now aspire to change their legal status in the personal status laws. This is achieved through enacting modern legislations that ensure their rights and dignity to replace the outdated tribal laws that discriminate against women, especially in rural areas, and giving them access to the parliament. One protestor, Sarah Ali, said Iraqi women are determined not to return to their homes until they reclaim their demands in revolutionizing the social and economic status quo. Recalling, that since 2003, Iraq has been in security turmoil, where terrorist extremist groups have left thousands of widows and orphans. According to the planning ministry figures, the number of widows has exceeded 820,000, 55% of which are above 50 years, 35% between 22 and 29 years and 10% between 16 and 21 years. The rate of unemployment has reached nearly 55% among females. (Al Akhbar, December 9, 2019)

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