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Drafting a New Story: Women's Rights in the Middle East

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Why is women’s participation essential for a successful Iraq?

The success of any community is dependent on its women because mothers raise and influence their children not only their children, but their communities as well.

Women have a lot of potential that the community cannot ignore in its attempts to rise and prosper.  Women make up half the community; their prosperity reflects that of the community.

What are the biggest challenges women in Iraq deal with?

The two biggest challenges are ignorance and early withdrawal from school.  Leaving school early, women and girls don’t know their rights, and face constant pressure from the social, religious, traditional, and tribal systems.  There are few local female leaders uniting women and few provision available to ensure the full application of Iraqi civil law.

What do you consider to be the biggest success of the women’s movement in Iraq?

Iraqi women have successfully mobilized within the community to demand their rights as women in the community and have been able to enter the politic field .

What are a few things the women’s movements needs to be successful? (ie. resources, money, support, laws, etc)

The women’s movement needs much more financial support and legal protection.  Since education remains a significant issue for many girls and women, and education and also she need to raise her self-confidence.

Why hasn’t there been a strong community –based women’s movement in Iraq?

There are a few reasons for this.  First of all, we don’t have enough female leadership initiatives that specifically target women’s issues in the community.  Second, lawmakers have put women’s issues and women’s leadership at the bottom of their list of priorities given the political, social, and infrastructure needs of the country.  Third, the struggle between the women themselves and their communities have cast a negative light on liberal women.

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