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Iraqi women under occupation: from tribalism to neo-feudalism

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Over the latter half of the twentieth century, Iraqi women enjoyed a substantial expansion in their opportunities and rights. Where the reforms of the latter half of the twentieth century freed women from the bondage of tribal and feudal forces, the American occupation of 2003 has jolted Iraqi women back into the bondage of reactionary forces. In addition to the general horrors that have come to dominate Iraqi life, Iraq's women have become the target of a campaign of sexual terrorism by the Anglo-American occupation regime in addition to the criminal and sectarian elements that were unleashed by the occupation. This article studies the shifting status of women in modern Iraq, and considers the various forms of oppression that held Iraqi women in thraldom (tribal, sectarian, neo-feudal). Finally, the article considers the place of women within the emerging international environment of corporate neo-feudalism.

Keywords: Iraqi women; neo-feudalism; sectarianism and women; women under occupation; women's rights

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Calgary, Canada. 2: Carleton University, Canada.

Publication date: 2007-09-14

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  • The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies is a new peer-reviewed, tri- annual, academic publication devoted to the study of modern Iraq. In recognition of Iraq's increasingly important position on the world stage, the time is right for a new journal dedicated to scholarly engagement with the country.
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