International Women’s Day 2011 – Contribution of the Iraqi Women’s League.

The Iraqi Women’s League (IWL) is today celebrating with all of you the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. 
Although it has been more than 100 years since women have demanded equality, we still see discrimination and violence against women all over the world. We may need another 100 years to overcome every kind of discrimination everywhere – but we will keep campaigning against it.
Today the IWL stands side by side with women around the world and especially women in Iraq, the Middle East and North Africa who struggle to change brutal dictatorial regimes that work against them. 
In Iraq the situation for women is extremely volatile, with many negative changes such as:
•The segregation of boys and girls in education from as young as nursery up until university.
•Hijab imposed on female students at most universities.
•More places and priority given to males to go to university and in the work place.
•Polygamy and Sharia law marriages still used in Iraqi society.
•No law to protect young women forced into compulsory marriage and no law to protect women from domestic  abuse. 
We do not know the exact number of the widows in Iraq because it is not a priority for the Iraqi government to find out, despite many studies estimating that there are more than a million.
I will stop with this very small number of examples but I would like to point out that we are very positive that we will not allow another dictatorship to rise in Iraq and we will always fight and stand by all women who are struggling for a better life for themselves and their children.