Nadje Al-Ali: US Invasion Of Iraq Set Women's Rights Back 70 Years

Nadje Al-Ali: US Invasion Of Iraq Set Women's Rights Back 70 Years
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'Women [in Iraq] are being killed simply for being women," says Nadje Al-Ali when I meet her at her home in south London. "In Basra in 2008 a reported 133 women were killed for not 'being Islamic' enough. And these are only the ones that made it to be officially counted. I saw the police photos - they were horrific."

Al-Ali's new book, What Kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq, analyses how Iraqi women have fared since the US invasion of March 2003. The news, unsurprisingly, is grim. Written with the political scientist Nicola Pratt, the book is based on interviews with 120 women, including Iraqi women's rights activists, NGO workers and international policymakers. The climate that they describe in Iraq is one of lawless "hyper-patriarchy", and with this evidence in tow, Al-Ali and Pratt take aim at a wide range of targets. These include the occupying powers, extremist Islamist militias, Iraqi leaders and "imperialist feminists" (those who claim solidarity with women from developing countries while stereotyping their cultures as barbaric).

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