In Her Own Words
Iraqi women talk about their greatest concerns and challenges.
The plight of women in Iraq today has gone largely ignored, both within Iraqi society and by the international community. For more than five years, headlines have been dominated by political and social turmoil, the chaos of conflict and widespread violence. This has overshadowed the abysmal state of the civilian population's day-to-day lives, a result of that very turmoil and violence.
The specific hardships that some of Iraq's most vulnerable individuals cope with on a daily basis, as told by them, have overwhelmingly gone unheard.
Oxfam and the Al-Amal Association, the Iraqi partner organization that conducted the survey in the five provinces of Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, Najaf and Nineveh, do not claim that the information they gathered from 1,700 respondents represents the situation facing all Iraqis, or even all women in Iraq. However, it does provide a disturbing snapshot of many women's lives and those of their children and other family members. The information presented in this paper was collected over a period of several months, starting in the summer of 2008.