Women’s political activism in Iraq: Caught between NGOization and the struggle for a civil state

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Abstract

This article explores Iraqi women’s political activism since 2003. It focuses on an in-depth ethnography of women’s political organizations conducted mainly in Baghdad, and in Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Najaf-Kufa, Karbala and Nasriya. I will start by considering the relationship between gender and the notion of NGOization in Iraq. Secondly, I explore some of the aspects characterizing the post-2003 context and its concrete impact on women’s lives and activism. I look specifically at the issue of the funding of civil society organizations and the ways in which Iraqi women activists deal with the political situation imposed by the US-led invasion and occupation. Finally, the article presents the different forms taken by women’s political activism from their NGOs to their participation in the recent protest movement launched in the summer 2015 questioning the ethno-sectarian and dysfunctional nature of the post-invasion Iraqi regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-51
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Keywords

  • Civil society
  • Ethno-sectarianism
  • Iraqi women
  • NGOs
  • US invasion and occupation
  • Women’s political activism

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