Iraq: Women Suffer New Violence As Conflict Escalates
Thursday, June 26, 2014 1:30 PM

Women in Iraq face kidnappings, rapes, forced prostitution and forced and child marriages in areas now controlled by the insurgent group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Of particular concern are so called “jihad marriages” in which women are kidnapped from their homes by ISIS insurgents and forced into marriage. In one week in Mosul alone, eighteen instances of “jihad marriages” were reported. Four women committed suicide after being raped.
The President of the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq, Yanar Mohammed, has stated, “[t]he situation is horrific for women in Mosul." The Baghdad-based NGO is working to help women affected by the increasingly violent conflict throughout Iraq by providing shelter to those targeted for exercising their human rights. More than 500,000 of Mosul’s residents have fled since the start of the recent violence with women and children making up 75 to 90 percent of the displaced. UNICEF has reported that thousands of people are living outside of Mosul without adequate water, sanitation or shelter.

Women’s Freedom in Iraq is expanding its efforts in Kerbala, Mosul and other cities in which women have been left vulnerable and displaced.

Compiled from:  Naili, Hajer, Iraq Women's Shelter Responds to Growing Crisis, (June 19, 2014); Cumming-Bruce, Nick, U.N. Warns of Rights Abuses and Hundreds Dead in Iraq Fighting, New York Times (June 13, 2014).