February 28, 2005
Greetings from Women in Iraq to Our Sisters in the USA:
In 8th March this year, we send you, women and men in the US, who have supported us over the last two years through one of the hardest times of our generation, our warmest greeting on the 8th of March International Women’s Day.
Unlike your government, you have shown that you are the strongest supporters of women in Iraq since the war and the occupation began. You have demonstrated that you are defending human rights and women’s rights, that you oppose your government.
Many people have said that the US government did not just lose its war against Vietnamese in the in the battle fields of Vietnam, they also lost it in the streets of America. What woman and progressive people want is to win our battle in the American streets!
The daily life of millions of Iraqi women and men is exposing the Bush administration’s hypocrisy about launching the war and the occupation.
Even under the bloodiest regime, Saddam’s dictatorship, we had some rights. Now, we have none!
We were able to walk in the streets unveiled! Now, we cannot!
We were able to marry whoever we pleased with out consent of the male members of our families. Now, we can not!
Now, Men can buy women for one hour, one day, one week, or one month, under the name of “marriage for pleasure!” This from the Shiites, who have the majority in the national assembly, under the protection and supervision of the US forces!
Men can marry two, three, or four wives if they wish; women can not even decide to marry one husband.
In Saddam’s time, we were threatened by the brutalities of his bloody regime.
Now, we are threatened by Shiite groups, Sunni groups, Al- Qaeda, Al-Wahabist, Bath remnants, and US troops every day!
We can not walk in the streets freely, without being kidnapped, harassed, or killed because of lack of security.
Do you know how many countless women have been killed by the Islamists, whether the Islamists are in the government or in the “resistance?!”
Women are being targeted from both sides!
Both sides have the most discriminatory agenda against women.
We did not want to get rid of Saddam Hussein to be pushed centuries backwards.
We do not want another Afghanistan in Iraq.
We don’t want the militias of Shiitte, Sunnie, Baath Party, nationalist parties, tribes, and occupation forces to turn our lives into a hell!
We do not want another Islamic state in Iraq.
We want to re-establish the civil society for Iraq.
We want end of Occupation.
We want full equality and freedom in Iraq.
We want a secular constitution in Iraq.
For this immense task: we need your continued support. In this day, in this year our battle for ending the occupation and having a secular state in Iraq is intensifying! And we are confident that you will be with us!
Once again, thanks for all your support.
And our warmest greeting on the 8th of March International Women’s Day.
Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq.