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Najaf women rally to defend their right of participation in uprising


Hundreds of women took to the streets of the Shiite Holy City of Najaf, south of Baghdad, to defend their right to partake in the ongoing anti-government protests which started last October demanding sweeping political reforms. This demonstration, sparked by a call by Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr’s to not mix at revolt squares, attracted female university professors, students and housewives. Dressed in black cloaks, the protestors carried signs which read, ‘I am born in Iraq to become revolutionary’ and ‘No voice louder than women’s’, in addition to the chanting of slogans deploring the US and Iran: “No for America or Iran, Baghdad is the end of the line”. In an interview with AFP, university professor, Nada Qassem, said: “We are free people, we did not march in an answer to a fatwa and will not back down by an order.” I took part because I wanted to bring back the lost homeland that political parties and the quota-based system tampered with. I wanted to restore the appropriated rights and cry out for a civil state that respects its citizens, she said. Another 22-year old protestor, told AFP: “We took to the streets to topple the regime. However, this rally was meant to be feminist in retaliation to their violation of our honor,” voicing a pride in participating. (An Nahar, February 20, 2020)

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