Our sisters in Iraq, from the Organization for Women’s Freedom, a Global Fund grantee sent us this moving and inspiring message on the occasion of International Women's Day:
To the strongest women of the world,
Your sisters did not quit the struggle for a better world in Iraq.
We are burdened with 5 years of military occupation, few years of religio-tribal government, and deteriorating life standards which are hard to endure or survive with dignity. A civil life where liberated women can speak out is unattainable or expected anytime soon.
The disappearance of women from the public realm in Iraq gives us more reason to celebrate March 8, the International Women's Day, acknowledging that we are part of billions of global women who struggle for a better life.
Please take a look at our attached IWD poster.
Happy International Women's Day to all of you. We hope you remember us in your events.
Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq
The Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) was formed in Baghdad in June 2003 to defend women's rights and works towards women's equality with men in Iraq. OWFI works on a range of issues against the backdrop of the ongoing occupation of Iraq, including focusing on the following areas: “women’s human rights inside prisons and detainment centers: the Women’s Prisons’ Watch Program, anti-trafficking and sex-industry watch, and different ways to shelter women including lone female survivors from sectarian clashes.”
OWFI operates women's shelters in Kirkuk and Baghdad that provide security and social support for victims of trauma. The group also organizes awareness raising meetings on issues like domestic abuse, sexual trafficking, and access to education, and also operates a feminist newspaper called Al-Mousawat (Equality).