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Living through war, sanctions and occupation: the voices of Iraqi women

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What is the impact of almost a decade of war (IraqIran war), followed by 13 years of sanctions and then an occupation that is now in its fifth year? Ask women, as we did in a research project initiated in 2004 that asked Iraqi women to reflect on the course of turbulence and change in Iraq over their lifetimes. Invariably, we found, they focused on the Iraqi household, a level of analysis seldom addressed in all the literature on Iraq generated over the last decade or so which generally focuses on the macro level of institutional change, not the micro level of household change. Because of the centrality of the household in the social and cultural construction of Iraqi society, the assessment of change at the household level is central to any assessment of the impact of turbulence on Iraqi society. This essay is based on analysis of interviews with Iraqi women conducted between 2005 and 2007. Nested in a grounded theory methodology, the interviews were conducted face-to-face. Intended to be in-depth, unstructured and open-ended, the interviews focused on exploring significant events in the women's lives.
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Keywords: Iraqi families; Iraqi women; occupied Iraq; social change in Iraq

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Calgary.

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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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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