Women in Post-Saddam Iraq: One Step Forward or Two Steps Back?


Brown, Lucy, and David Romano. 2006. “Women in Post-Saddam Iraq: One Step Forward or Two Steps Back?” NWSA Journal 18 (3): 51–70.

Authors: Lucy Brown , David Romano


This article examines the ever-changing position of women in post-monarchical Iraq. Ironically, many women's gains obtained under Saddam's Ba'athist regime were subsequently lost under the same regime. The end of Saddam's government in 2003 likewise led to contradictory outcomes for Iraqi women, empowering them in some ways and making them more vulnerable in others. Iraqi women themselves displayed a variety of dispositions, from the pre-2003 Ba'athist-controlled General Federation of Iraqi Women, to Shiite religious conservative women's groups, secular progressive Kurdish women's associations operating in autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, and American-sponsored progressive women's organizations based in Baghdad. Disentangling the myriad experiences and trajectories of Iraqi women thus stands out as an important, complex, and overdue project for both gender studies and Middle East scholars. This article provides one of the first systematic and contemporary attempts to fill such a void.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, International Organizations, NGOs, Religion Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2006

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