NEW YORK - March 5 - The following event has been organized as part of the 51st United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. It is co-sponsored by MADRE, the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq, and the Arms Trade Resource Center, a project of the World Policy Institute.
All media are invited to attend.
Yifat Susskind, author of Promising Democracy, Imposing Theocracy: Gender-Based Violence and the US War on Iraq, will join Houzan Mahmoud, of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq, to introduce a groundbreaking report on the incidence, causes, and legalization of gender-based violence in Iraq since the US-led invasion. Ms. Mahmoud, who received a death threat this week from the notoriously brutal jihadist group Ansar al-Islam, will address the real-life impact of a campaign of terror and violence against women carried out by Islamists throughout Iraq. Ms. Mahmoud is in New York for one day only.
PANEL DISCUSSION: "Confronting Gender-Based Violence in Iraq"
Amidst the chaos and violence of US-occupied Iraq, women—in particular those who are perceived to pose a challenge to the political project of their attackers—have increasingly been targeted because they are women. Today, they are subjected to unprecedented levels of assault in the public sphere, "honor killings," torture in detention, and other forms of gender-based violence. Panelists will contextualize and elaborate upon these and other issues addressed in the report, including the use of gender-based violence by Islamists seeking to establish a theocratic state, and by the US in its efforts to appease Islamists and enforce its occupation. Speakers will reveal how a re-telling of the Iraq war from the perspective of Iraqi women illuminates the strong links between women's human rights and democratic rights in general and the Bush Administration's clear contempt for both.
Read the Executive Summary of the report
Tuesday, March 6 / 2:00-2:30 (press conference); 2:30-3:45 (panel discussion)
United Nations Church Center (44th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues), 10th Floor
Yifat Susskind, MADRE Communications Director and author of the report
Houzan Mahmoud, International Representative of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (a MADRE partner organization)
Frida Berrigan, Senior Research Associate, Arms Trade Resource Center, a project of the World Policy Institute
Jennifer Green, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
MADRE is an international women's human rights organization that works in partnership with community-based women's organizations worldwide to address issues of health and reproductive rights, economic development, education, and other human rights. MADRE provides resources, training, and support to enable our sister organizations to meet concrete needs in their communities while working to shift the balance of power to promote long-term development and social justice. Since we began in 1983, MADRE has delivered over 22 million dollars worth of support to community-based women's organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and the United States.