Opening Up New Opportunities for Women in Iraq

Authored by: National Democratic Institute

Categories: Human Rights, Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Countering Violent Extremism, Democratization and Political Participation, Economic Participation, National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Violent Extremism
Country: Iraq
Region: Middle East and North Africa
Year: 2018
Citation: National Democratic Institute. Opening Up New Opportunities for Women in Iraq. National Democratic Institute , 2018.

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Executive Summary

A new round of focus groups primarily in Iraq’s recently liberated and disputed areas reveals how the conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), along with growing public awareness of the lack of women’s equality in Iraq, has contributed to demand for more rights and freedoms for Iraqi women. However, this drive toward a better status within society for women is far from complete and clashes with pervasive resistance to a larger role for women in household decision making, the workforce, and politics. As a whole, these focus groups suggest women in Iraq are at a pivot point when it comes to equality, facing both new opportunities to further improve their status and formidable pushback from those with more traditional values.