“Many women activists have been murdered, many women university professors. Many women physicians have been killed, women in the police forces, reporters and journalists.” Who would do such a thing? Why, hardline Muslims who believe that women working in such professions violates Sharia provisions. Islam Respects Women’s Rights Alert from AFP, :
VIENNA (AFP) – Women are increasingly the victims of violence in Iraq, as direct targets of assassinations and as widows left without support after the deaths of their husbands, an Iraqi women’s activist said.
“Many women activists have been murdered, many women university professors. Many women physicians have been killed, women in the police forces, reporters and journalists,” Rajaa al-Khuzai, president of the Iraqi National Council of Women, told a news conference in Vienna.
“We are losing an average 100 Iraqi (men) every day … so I think (we have an additional) 3,000 widows every month… and all of them are young and have no support for them and their families,” she added.
Al-Khuzai, a trained gynaecologist, was one of the first women in Iraq’s interim Governing Council and was a member of the drafting committee for the new Iraqi constitution.
She then set up the Iraqi Widows Organisation, which promotes women’s rights and provides material and other support to mostly young widows, often with children.
“We need to train and educate these young women … by educating women we are educating all Iraqis,” she said, adding her organisation could help secure the future of Iraq.
“If we want to see stability in the region we have to highlight the role of the women … women who will make the change on the ground,” said Edit Schlaffer, chairwoman of the Vienna-based Women Without Borders, which organized the talk.
Before Saddam Hussein’s regime, Iraqi women enjoyed more rights than most of their counterparts in the region and even during the 1980s, “men were involved in the (Iran-Iraq) war and women took over”, Al-Khuzai said.
“We played the role of the mother and father in the home.”
But now “women are very easy targets,” especially high-profile women such as herself, she added.