Between Dictatorship, Sanctions, War and Occupation: A Historical Perspective on Iraqi Women and Gender Relations

Nadje Al-Ali

April 16, 2007

The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Nadje Al-Ali explores the various ways women and gender relations have been constructed in Iraq from the 1970s until present day post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. Providing a historical background into evolving gender ideologies and relations, the presentation attempts to shed light on the relationship between conflict, gender regimes, and changing subjectivities. Notions of masculinity and femininity have been actively addressed and shaped in the context of initially secular modernist state project of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the militarization of society during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), the Gulf War (1990-1991), the subsequent economic sanctions regime (1990-2003), the recent war (2003), as well as ongoing occupation and resistance. Against this historical background, Al-Ali discusses recent developments with respect to gender policies by the US and the UK, the Iraqi government and the resistance as well as the mobilization of Iraqi women activists inside Iraq and in the diaspora.

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