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The Saker
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Iraqi Women Forced into Sexual Slavery

category international | gender and sexuality | other press author Saturday December 05, 2009 17:59author by pat c Report this post to the editors

Houzan Mahmoud of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, speaks of how the Imperialist invasion and occupation of Iraq has affected women, forcing many into sexual-slavery. Along with Nadya Khalife of HRW Houzan was interviewed by Rachelle Kliger of The Media Line. Full text at link.

Houzan said that since 2003 more than 70% of Iraqis have lost their jobs, a situation compounded by a lack of welfare provisions.

“We have more than four million widows in Iraq… who will provide for these women? The situation created absolute poverty, particularly for women, and these women have virtually no other option but to turn to prostitution. There’s nothing called choice in this,” she stressed. “They are either being forced into it because of the economic and political situation or because of a lack of security, whereby women and young girls are being kidnapped.”

The Baghdad Women’s Organization estimates that at least 200 Iraqi women are sold into slavery every year, although the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch estimates that the numbers are in the thousands. The organization warns that the figures may be higher if Iraqi refugee women in neighboring countries such as Syria and Lebanon are also counted.

Houzan said: “The Iraqi government is responsible for the lives and dignity of these women and children, who’ve been trafficked and forced into prostitution. The U.S. and U.K. government [are also responsible] for occupying Iraq and creating such a miserable situation for the population, whose only crime is being Iraqi. They should be blamed and held responsible for this situation whereby people can easily kidnap you and sell you for money. It’s absolutely outrageous.”

Related Link: http://www.themedialine.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsID=27272
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