Iraqi women are resilient despite violence

and the coronavirus pandemic

The 8th of March is a day when we renew our commitment to continue the struggle as defenders of women's rights, contributing to tackling the country's problems in general, and those of women and girls in particular, and improving their living and social conditions in urban and rural Iraq. This includes responding to their health, psychological and legal needs, and ensuring appropriate shelters and housing to protect them from violence, exploitation and trafficking.

The 8th of March 2021 has come while we are still facing many health and environmental challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic and its social and economic impact, that are further aggravated by a complex political and security situation. The latter is caused by the ethno-sectarian power-sharing system and corruption that still plagues Iraq and its people. Despite these enormous challenges, Iraqi women have proven their strength of will and their high ability to confront difficulties and crises.

Local, national and international indicators and reports confirm that Iraqi women live under harsh conditions and are subjected to more injustice, neglect, violence, marginalization and exclusion, in addition to unequal opportunities. This is so despite their contribution in many fields and the struggle to assert their right to real political participation and on decision-making levels. They are also continuing to combat all forms of violence directed against them and fighting to abolish all unjust decisions and legislations that violate their dignity and human rights.

We, in the Iraqi Women's League, despite the difficulties that we are facing as women on various cultural and social levels, continue our struggle to unify national and civic efforts to reform the political process in Iraq. We fully respect the will of the people to build a just political system that saves Iraq from economic crises and political conflicts. We call on all the relevant executive and legislative bodies as well as the UN to ensure a woman’s right to participation at all levels, and to affirm the principle of social justice and gender. Women role must be asserted as basic and effective partners in the processes of development, construction, security and peace. It is essential to promote women's participation and economic empowerment, ensuring their safety and providing protection for them within the family and society. This requires expediting the promulgation of the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence and its implementation by bringing to account the perpetrators and prosecuting them, ensuring that they do not get away with impunity. Full social guarantees must be provided for widows, divorced women, returnees from displacement, women with special needs, and women who provide for their families and are affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The 8th of March is an opportunity to celebrate our steadfastness in the face of great challenges, as well as an occasion to prove that we are able to bring about change in all fields and forums. It is also an occasion to raise our voice in the protests against all anti-people policies. It is a day to remind the Iraqi government and the international community of their commitments to women's issues, and in appreciation of women’s efforts and the sacrifices made by them every day. We call upon them to adopt development programs in order to extricate women, their children and families from poverty, destitution and deprivation, and strive to provide a free and decent life for them, protect their rights and abolish all legislations and decisions that rob them of their rights.

Long live the 8th of March, the International Day for all women. Warmest greetings to every woman who is striving to make our world a safe environment for all.

Glory to the women martyrs and the disappeared women in Iraq an. all over the world.

Women should enjoy a free, dignified and secure life

8 March 2021

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