What Kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation in Iraq


Al-Ali, Nadje, and Nicola Pratt. 2009. What Kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation in Iraq. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Authors: Nadje Al-Ali, Nicola Pratt


Has U.S military action liberated Iraqi women? What role have women played in the new Iraq? How has the occupation impacted women? This book addresses these questions and illustrates the big gap between the official rhetoric that put Iraqi women at centre stage and the reality of how women's rights and women's lives have been used in the name of competing political agendas. The authors challenge the widespread view that there is something inherent about Muslim, Middle Eastern or Iraqi culture that is responsible for the escalating violence, sectarianism and systematic erosion of women's rights in Iraq. Rather, this book highlights the responsibility of the U.S.-led occupation in promoting sectarian, ethnic and tribal politics and fueling violence. The authors focus on the devastating effects of neo-liberal and neo-conservative notions of women's empowerment. Yet far from being passive victims, Iraqi women continue to negotiate the challenges and find strategies to adapt to and resist the events that are unfolding. Based on interviews with Iraqi women's rights activists, international policy-makers and NGO workers, the authors document the rich and varied scope of Iraqi women's involvement in political transition, reconstruction and attempts at shaping the new Iraq.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Gender, Women, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2009

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