Women for Women International describes itself here, and its work here. It has just released a report on Iraqi women which is based on a survey of 1,000 Iraqi women in Baghdad, Mosul, and Basra. The survey was conducted by the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic Studies (CSSR). Some of the results:
> 94% of women surveyed want to secure legal rights for women.The report is here (pdf). I have yet to read it in full. Some elements:
> 84% of women want the right to vote on the final constitution.
> Nearly 80% of women believe that their participation in local and national councils should not be limited.
The most unexpected result of the survey is that despite increasing violence, particularly violence against women, 90.6% of Iraqi women reported that they are hopeful about their future. In recent months, many women who have been involved with the reconstruction efforts or women's rights work have been kidnapped and murdered...
"Women make up more than half the population of Iraq. This makes them enormously influential, both for the election this month and for Iraq's future," said Manal Omar, who has been Women for Women International's Country Director in Iraq, since the organization established offices there in July 2003. "The new Iraqi government must act quickly to ensure their rights today and secure their hope for the future. If women continue to be excluded from the new government and lose hope for the future, then the window of opportunity for women in Iraq - and hope for the country itself - closes."
> 95.1% felt that there should be no restrictions on education.The report sets out the many problems in the way of women's progress in Iraq, as well as positive developments like the strength of women's NGOs. (Thanks to JA.)
> '[A]ll those working in the field of women's rights know that women's participation in all aspects of public life is crucial not only to democracy but to economic growth.'
> 'All the major areas [basic needs, education, economy, political participation etc.] covered by the 2004 Household Survey point to the devastating impact of insecurity, which continues to create an impediment to women's long-term progress.'