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Indybay Feature
Fri Jan 30 2004
On The Ground: Women Investigate The Effects Of War In Iraq
Fri Jan 30 2004
Women in Iraq
On Feb. 27th, Kate Raphael will report back on her work in Palestine and the recent women's delegation to Iraq.
1/30/2004: Some local women activists are in Iraq to bear witness to and research the ongoing occupation of that country by US military forces. Their travels take place as around the country, organizers are gathering support for the global day of action on March 20th to observe the one-year anniversary of the war and occupation in Iraq. Code Pink Alert and Global Exchange have sponsored a women's delegation to Iraq. These activists will research how women are faring under US occupation, meet with US authorities and Iraqi officials to learn how their plans affect Iraqi women. The delegation will meet with representatives of a variety of Iraqi women's organizations that are working on issues that include creating income-generating projects for women, organizing shelters for victims of domestic violence, and raising women's concerns in the writing of the new constitution. In addition to the formal meetings, the delegation will meet with women in their homes, at the university and in the markets. This trip will result in a report on the Status of Woman under the US Occupation.

It has been reported that well over 16,000 Iraqis have been killed since the start of the war , and that over 500 American troops have died in combat. As multi-billion dollar no-bid contracts go to US companies, 80 percent of the Iraqi workforce is unemployed, and over 30 percent of urban areas in Iraq lack access to safe drinking water. Evidence of the wide use of depleted uranium continues to surface, a widespread medical crisis in on its way, allegations of US troops misconduct build up, human rights groups around the world protest disappeared citizens, reports of collective punishment and the destruction of agricultural lands is mounting, and attacks on women are increasing, as well.
On February 15th there was a reportback by women who recently were in Iraq.
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