General Article Did the wars liberate Afghan and Iraqi women?

Topic Selected: War and Conflict
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During the first few years after the US-led invasion, Iraqi women were used as yardsticks to show the progress the country was making towards democratisation and protection of human rights. However, coalition forces soon turned their attention from human security to national security. Iraqi women today have very little political influence and power to participate in decision-making. They also experience gender violence and poverty as a result of deteriorating infrastructure, the death, disappearance and detention of male spouses, and more conservative laws and attitudes than those in place ten years ago. These problems are exacerbated in a context of lack of rule of law and Prime Minister al-Maliki’s systemic sidelining of political opposition.

Iraq’s poor infrastructure and continuing humanitarian crisis impact the majority of Iraqi women’s lives. Following the US-led invasion, the number of Iraqi women reduced to impoverished widowhood and refugee status skyrocketed. Poverty and ...

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