Against the Current, No. 129, July/August 2007
Deferred Freedom Agenda
— The Editors
Race and Class: Facing the New Backlash
— Malik Miah
Memoirs of a 1960s Activist
— Gloria House
July 1967: Rebellion
— Kate Stacy
Voices of Iraqi Workers
— Traven Leyshon
It's Political Not Personal
— Paula Chakravartty and Stephanie Luce
How to Resist Sarkozy?
— Peter Drucker
Women's NGOs Under Conditions of Occupation and War
— Shahrzad Mojab
Bolivia: Transition on Hold
— Jeffery R. Webber
Coca and Conflict in Bolivia
— Benjamin Dangl
Bolivia's Long Revolution
— Susan Spronk
A Nation at Canaan's Edge
— Mark Higbee
Artistry Serving Activism
— Paul Le Blanc
Speaking for New Orleans
— Christian Roselund
— Dianne Feeley
A Revolutionary Life
— Alan Wald
On String Theory
— Ansar Fayyazuddin
- In Memoriam
Martin Seldon, 1923-2007
— Christopher Phelps
I WILL START by remembering Abeer, a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, who was raped by four American soldiers in 2006. Abeer’s 5-year-old sister, Haddel, and their parents were murdered by soldiers of occupation. I also would like to call your attention to the Amnesty International Report of 2005, which tells us that Afghan women “live with the risk of: abduction and rape by armed individuals; forced marriage; being traded for settling disputes and debts; and face daily discrimination from all segments of society as well as by state officials” (Amnesty International, 2005a).
Moving to another zone of war and occupation, Palestine, once more Amnesty International reports that Palestinian women are raped, beaten, and imprisoned by their fathers, husbands, brothers, as well as by the occupying forces of Israel (Amnesty International, 2005b).
In the Middle East today, tens of thousands of refugee women live in unbearable conditions of war-perpetuated violence on the borders of Jordan, Iran, Syria, Pakistan and all the way to Egypt, Sudan and Somalia. Millions are trafficked into the prostitution market around the world, or are forced to join the global migrant workers and labor under the condition of modern-slavery.
This is a partial list of the litany of crimes committed against women by militarized patriarchal structures of power. This patriarchy is an integral component of the capitalist logic of exploitation, oppression, expansion, and occupation. We should understand the implications of these atrocities committed against women in the 21st century, which according to some accounts are unprecedented in modern history, in the long history of patriarchal and racialized colonialism and imperialism.
To be sure, we can recount horrible atrocities throughout medieval and feudal times in Europe, Asia, Africa and elsewhere. I would argue, however, that the spread and intensity of what is happening today — precisely because of the legacy of colonialism and today’s aggressive imperialism — is unprecedented. Further, this is occurring at the very time that our understanding about rights, justice and equality have achieved equally unprecedented breakthroughs.
This history has brought us now to face an appalling phenomenon of “surplus humanity” (Davis, 2004) where children, women and men’s lives are deemed redundant and inessential, and thus can be traded, slaved, killed, raped, violated, kept poor and hungry. It is this history that has made the condition of patriarchal capitalist accumulation of wealth by dispossession possible: dispossessing women and men workers, peasants, and urban settlers of clean air, water, and soil; of access to affordable and safe food, schooling, shelter, and clothing; and of the right to fair wage and just working conditions. (Harvey, 2005)
One of the most profitable sources of wealth for imperialist powers is war. Currently, most of the world population is either living under the condition of war in Asia, Africa and the Middle East; or in a “state of war,” as in Iran, Europe and North America, where states use the pretext of threat by “external enemy” or “war on terror” to create a culture of fear and restrict citizens’ rights.
Increasing militarization has unleashed the patriarchal forces of nationalism and religious fundamentalisms globally. No wonder, then, that we are witnessing the rise of economic, political, social and cultural violence against women committed by state and non-state actors, or that we read in the Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports about the emergence of “re-tribalization” of Iraq and Afghanistan. The imperialist powers and religious fundamentalist forces have formed an “unholy” alliance.
A Crisis in Feminism
Let me be blunt and claim that women’s movements and feminist activists have either failed to fully comprehend the implication of this alliance or have willfully dismissed it. This has been a major setback for solidarity in women’s movements. This means that Aboriginal women of Canada, women of Afghanistan, Burundi, Columbia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Nepal, Palestine, Peru or Sudan are alone in fighting against national and global forces of subjugation and exploitations.
Little effort is undertaken by feminist activists to confront boldly, without any hesitations, both imperialist aggressions and religious conservative forces. Some of us recall the debate in the summer of 2006 when we were organizing against the Israel aggression on Lebanon, when some women argued in support of Hezbollah, a religious conservative group, as an anti-imperialist resistance. Others went as far as carrying portraits of Ayatollah Khomeini and Moqtada al-Sadr, two symbols of women’s oppression, in antiwar marches.
Some antiwar feminist academics cloak their support for the patriarchal-religious force in the “cultural relativist” argument which privileges the “indigeneity” of patriarchy. My question is: Why have feminists, especially those with a progressive, antiwar, anti-globalization agenda, in recent years repeatedly failed to uphold a multi-edged banner of resistance? Why have we failed us to see the multiplicity of contradictions in patriarchal capitalism? We should seek the answer, I would like to propose, in the following factors:
1) The theoretical turn in feminism in the last three decades has had a devastating impact on women’s struggle globally. Exaggerated emphases on “identity,” “voice,” “agency,” “location” and “experience” have reduced patriarchy to questions of culture and religion. This means that patriarchy as an institution of women’s subordination is separated from capitalist relations of exploitation, from imperialist domination, and from the rise of nationalism and fundamentalism. This myopic view of patriarchy, sometimes even endorsed the colonialist “liberation” agenda for women in Afghanistan and Iraq.
2) The political implications of this theoretical shift have been even more disturbing. Feminism as a potential strong opposition social force has been reduced to fragmented, disjointed and coopted tendencies. The outcome is the re-emergence of colonial and imperialist feminisms on the one hand, and nativist feminisms which perpetuate patriarchy under the banner of culture on the other.
3) The post-9/11 condition has added more complexity to this already messy situation. In the West we are faced with the rise of state suppression of individual rights and civil liberties under the name of “security” and “war on terror.” State-sponsored racial profiling is on the rise, and Islamophobia, anti-Arab, and anti-Muslim racism are growing. Most feminist responses are at best ambiguous toward this environment of fear and terror.
4) The right turn in the feminist movement coincides with three decades of cooptation and fragmentation of women’s movements through the instruments of the UN, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and a vast network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These capitalist institutions have supported, funded and promoted patriarchy by turning the struggle of women to de-politicized and liberal notions of “gender mainstreaming” and “women’s empowerment.”
In this imperialist feminist scheme, women were trained to lead NGOs, to participate in the political structure of conservative and pro-Western states, to engage in alienating, pacifying training programs for the capitalist “democracy” and join the army of workers to build “civil society.” In this version of women’s struggle, capitalist relations of power and the institutions of state and patriarchy are left untouched.
This last factor constitutes the core of my discussion: I will look critically at reconstruction projects in Iraqi Kurdistan based on the activities of women’s NGOs supported and funded by the United States. This analysis is based on field work in northern Iraq in 2000 and 2005, and extensive archival and library work.
Let me stress here that I differentiate between women’s NGOs and the women’s movements. The movements encompass a diversity of positions and relationships to the state, are oftentimes more politically charged, and allow for a more critical assessment of external involvement. In some cases, women’s NGOs are mobilized by the state and external actors to weaken, depoliticize or even crush the women’s movements.
I will argue therefore that a detailed analysis of the role of women’s NGOs in postwar reconstruction will further assist us in explicating the interconnectedness of an imperialist gender project, constructed on such notions as: “democracy,” “freedom” or “civil society,” and in linking this project to its larger agenda of regional and global domination.
My objective is to invite you to rethink and reconsider the dominant uncritical celebration of notions such as “civil society,” “NGOs,” “freedom” or “democracy.” Under the condition of war, occupation, and imperialism, we need to develop a more sophisticated theoretical understanding of social relations, local and global institutional structures and powers, division of labor, or habits of life.
I have done enough field work in war zones and have been in touch with diaspora communities and women’s NGOs in Palestine, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Egypt to deeply appreciate the resiliency of women, their sacrifice, and their absolute devotion to a just cause. This acknowledgment, however, has never constrained me from critical engagement with these women. Inspired by Cynthia Enloe’s notion of “being curious by our lack of feminist curiosity.” I have been curious about women and therefore have been able to see patriarchy and not only colonialism, capitalism, militarism, racism or imperialism, and these only in fragments. (Enloe, 2004).
My critique aims then at rupturing the normalcy in neoliberal notions of the “inevitability” of capitalism and imperialism, in the civilizational privileging of West over East, and in the “naturalization” of separation of political rights (that is, democracy and freedom) from economic rights. (For further articulation of this point see Ellen Meiksins Wood, 2006.)
My aim here is not one of evaluating or assessing the NGOs operating in the region. My focus is more on unraveling the ideological underpinning of the imperialist powers in the postwar reconstruction of Iraq, through drawing on the result of my field work among women’s NGOs. I will attempt to track the U.S. “reconstruction” policy, though I prefer to call it mapping the bureaucracy of occupation, and the role that NGOs play within this project.
I believe that it is critical for left, antiwar and anti-globalization activists to understand the intricacies of the specific project of reconstruction in Iraq, and how it fits into a larger agenda that is transnational in scope. A perfect summary of this policy can be found in the description of the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).
MEPI operates in a self-described four pillar structure: “(1) political governance and participation, (2) economic liberalization and opportunity, (3) educational quality and access, (4) the empowerment of women.” Under the “women” pillar, four initiatives are listed: “Fostering Empowerment,” “Women’s Survey,” “Women and the Law,” and “Women Business Summit” (see: http://mepi.state.gov/outreach/index.htm).
Under the rubrics of “reconstruction” and building “civil society,” the U.S. has opened up a new front in its expansionist desire in the region. Elite, educated, skilled and activist women are absorbed into numerous and often well-financed NGOs. Haifa Zangana, an Iraqi woman novelist, activist, and writer, argues that in Iraq today there are diverse colonial sources; they include “NGOs, missionaries, and women’s organizations. Unlike military invasion and violence, the work of these organizations is directed at the very fabric of society and has received much less publicity.” (Zangana 2006 and forthcoming)
Women NGOs that I have studied in northern Iraq manifest the same symptoms as other NGOs studied in Latin America, Palestine and Europe. They have a short-term agenda, and their contribution is often piecemeal, curative, limited and dependent on the agenda of donors. By contrast, women’s movements pursue long-term goals such as reform or radical change of patriarchal relations in both civil society and the state. While the two should not be seen as mutually exclusive, states in the Middle East are more tolerant of women’s NGOs than women’s movements, and the imperialist powers under the U.S. leadership encourage that.
NGOs in general are increasingly becoming policy instruments for the implementation of the foreign policy of the U.S. (and other Western states), ostensibly at “arm’s length.” As we will see, this occurs through funding arrangements and through the co-option of progressive and/or elite women into NGOs. The cultural ideology of neoliberalism is promoted through this hegemonic process through which the notion of democracy is limited to civil society and the market, that is, not inclusive of political rights.
NGOs, while in appearance autonomous from the regime of state, end up implementing that very regime. To expand this point, I will draw on the result of Nadeen El-Kassem’s doctoral research (she is working with me on this project, in particular see her 2007 paper). Here is an excerpt from her research:
“On April 26, 2004 a “Request for Proposals” was sent out for the “Iraqi Women’s Democracy Initiative” by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour (DRL) with the Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues. This was an active call-out to American NGOs and non-American NGOs that had American ties to participate in the “reconstruction” of Iraq, or what Haifa Zangana has referred to as, the “soft” occupation of Iraq, one of whose main participants are NGOs and women’s organizations.
“An example of one such NGO is Women’s Alliance for a Democratic Iraq (WAFDI) formerly known as Women for a Free Iraq (WFFI). It has close ties with The Foundation for the Defence of Democracies (FDD) and the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI) whose members and associates include many prominent Republicans and people associated with the current administration.
“Incidentally, Committee for the Liberation of Iraq was founded by Bruce Jackson, the director of Project for a New American Century. Many of WAFDI’s members took part in one such “public conference” called “Voice of Iraqi Women” that took place in July 2003. It was also attended by Britain’s Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt, and U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky, who both conducted seminars at the conference….
“In addition to this conference, the U.S. State Department sent “qualified women” to the “Global Summit of Women” conference held in Morocco that same summer (U.S. Department of State 2003 “Fact Sheet”). In both cases and in several others that involve consultation with Iraqi women, the same handful of Iraqi women appear in official press releases, in mainstream media, and on the websites of Republican supporters.
“A major player in the “soft” occupation of Iraq is the “Independent Women’s Forum” (IWF). IWF’s mission statement says that it was “established to combat the women-as-victim, pro-big-government ideology of radical feminism.” It also says, “IWF fosters greater respect for limited government, equality under the law, property rights, free markets, strong families, and a powerful and effective national defense and foreign policy.”
“The causes that IWF has taken up in the United States are quite telling when it comes to what they hope to accomplish in Iraq. Some of its main fights in the United States have included lobbying against the Violence Against Women Act, and opposing the enforcement of the Equal Pay Act on the grounds that the wage gap between men and women is a myth. Further, the IWF sponsored a study that criticizes women’s studies curricula and assigned readings in the United States, saying that women would learn more about gender construction by reading Shakespeare’s play, the “Taming of the Shrew.”
“IWF’s board of directors has included Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice-President Cheney, Wendy Lee Gramm, wife of former Enron board member and Texas Senator, Phil Gramm, and the National Review columnist and television personality, Kate O’Beirne (the author of Women Who Make the World Worse and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports. Women she cites as examples of champions of women’s empowerment include Margaret Thatcher, Condoleezza Rice, Catholic missionary nuns, and Mary Kay Ash, the founder of a cosmetics empire. Incidentally, Condoleezza Rice was the recipient of IWF’s “Woman of Valor” award for 2006).
“In 2004, the IWF was one of the recipients of the $10 million “Iraqi Women’s Democracy Initiative” grant. According to an IWF press release it was granted these funds in order to “provide leadership training, democracy education and coalition building assistance,” to Iraqi women. The fact that one of the leading outlets for the voice of Iraqi women is guided by an anti-feminist, Republican ideology has deep repercussions for the composition and survival of the Iraqi women’s movement.”
The Case of Kurdistan
Now, let me use an example from Iraqi Kurdistan. Asuda Organization for Combating Violence Against Women was founded in 2000. Asuda’s mandate is to combat violence against women, advocating for women who are in vulnerable situations. Among one of the most frequently mentioned NGOs in Northern Iraq, they receive funding from Heartland Alliance International Programs (based in the United States), USAID, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), among others.
In 2005, Asuda received $50,000 from NED to continue its women’s rights monitoring project. In 2003 it received $22,000 to conduct a survey of women’s rights violations in the three Kurdish provinces of Iraq and publish the results, establish a permanent mechanism to monitor women’s rights based on the survey results, and to conduct a public awareness seminar in Sulaymania that was aired on local television. They also received over $500,000 funding from the International Republican Institute to train people in democratic processes.
Politically and socially powerful people are involved with Asuda, among whom is the program manager Khanim Rahim Latif, an independent women’s rights advocate. She is among a handful of Kurdish women from Iraq dominating the international scene of conferences, workshops and training provided by the World Bank, UNIFEM, Women for Women International, and Independent Iraqi Women, and other such fora.
The Asuda Board of Directors includes Narmin Othman, former Minister of Education in the PUK administration and currently Iraqi Minister of Environment and Acting Minister of Human Rights; Roonak Rauf, mother of Dr. Barham Salih who was the Prime Minister of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan region of Iraqi Kurdistan (January 21, 2001-July 4, 2004), the Deputy Prime Minister of the Iraqi Interim Government, the Minister for Planning and Coordination in the Iraqi Transitional Government and Deputy Prime Minister in the government of Nouri al-Maliki; and Ms. Shirin Amadi.
Both Khanim Rahim Latif and Shirin Amadi are on the local committee of an “International Conference on Kurdish Women for Peace and Equality” (March 8-11, 2007 held in Erbil and Sulaimani, Northern Iraq), organized by the Kurdish National Congress of North America, an affiliate of KDP, based in Washington, D.C.
Let’s follow the trajectory of dollars and map out in detail the actual mechanisms through which dependency is being created under the condition of imperialism and occupation.
Trojan Horses: NED and IRI
Michael Baker has written an excellent review of NED’s role in promoting “democracy.” (See “Catalyst for Iranian Resistance: US ‘Democracy Promoters’ and Regime Change in Iran,” available on Global Policy Forum, http://www.globalpolicy.org. Also see the National Endowment for Democracy website at http://www.ned.org/.)
Most of the money that NED distributed through grants in 2005 was disbursed among organizations working in northern Iraq. The largest grant provided the International Republican Institute almost $15 million for their work around the election. In addition the Center for International Private Enterprise received almost $3 million to continue its “Building Constituencies for Reform” project to develop and strengthen business associations in Baghdad, Sulemaniya, and Amara.
In 2005 the NED also awarded a number of grants ranging from $30,000 to $60,000 to several organizations, primarily to educate voters about the election process and the new Iraqi constitution. For example, the Kurdish Institute for Elections (KIE) received $60,000 to conduct a five-month constitutional awareness and training campaign for civil society organizations in the provinces of Erbil, Sulaymania, Kirkuk, Salahedin, Diala, Baghdad, Karbala, Maysan, Babel and Basra as well as a $55,000 grant to promote the participation of youth as advocates for democracy and civil society.
The Baghdad Women’s Association received $30,000 to encourage women to participate in the October constitutional referendum and December national elections. They conducted a year-long series of training seminars for 270 Baghdad women leaders, students, and activists. Additionally, the Women Empowerment Center was given $30,000 to enhance the political role of Iraqi women.
What did the International Republican Institute, which received the largest funding for democracy projects do in Iraq? They were awarded $288,060,000 “to assist with Iraq’s transition to multiparty democracy and a pluralist society” and $14,711,939 “to implement a program of party development and organizational skills training targeted at party leaders and leading activists.” The IRI also received a USAID grant in 2005 for $500,000. (See webite at: http://www.iri.org/.)
The IRI has involved in a number of projects in Iraq since 2003. One of its important goals is to provide Iraqi politicians, opinion leaders, government officials and prospective candidates with timely and accurate assessments of public opinion. Another goal is to provide support for the political entities that have emerged in Iraq. They offer party development programs that focus on organization building, platform development, public communications, coalition building and campaigning for elective office.
With the approach of the December 2005 parliamentary elections, the IRI conducted a series of 17 campaign management and training seminars in Baghdad and Erbil. They brought in a group of international experts, discussing budget management, media relations, volunteer recruitment, polling and specific campaign tactics with nearly 400 senior level members of various parties.
As part of this same process, the IRI produced and aired on Iraqi television a series of 10 political debates on security, federalism, the role of religion, de-Baathification, the role of women, electricity, foreign policy, economic development and health care. The IRI also worked together with numerous NGOs to develop and organize voter education activities through media campaigns as well as training workshops. The IRI printed and distributed a multitude of posters, pamphlets, fliers and banners.
In cooperation with its NGO partners in Eastern Europe, the IRI brought several delegations of Iraqi politicians, political party and civil society leaders to Eastern Europe to participate in training by Eastern European NGO activists. The Iraqi delegates received lectures on the transition from “authoritarian” to “democratic” government, and how to apply democratic principles in a post-authoritarian environment.
Iraqis also held internships in Slovak parliament and ministries, observed Czech elections, attended the Ukraine National Women’s Conference, and met with members of government to learn the day-to-day operations of a democratic society. The IRI has an impressive list of board of directors and officers, most of whom are connected to the military and have had a connection with the U.S. government.
Gerald Sussman, analyzing the political intervention of the United States in post-Soviet Eastern Europe, argues that “global electioneering” is a big spin and “democracy assistance” is a growth industry. He reveals that “the umbrella organization for U.S. ‘Democracy assistance’ programs, NED channels most of its congressionally-allocated funds to two main subgroups, the International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute — representing the two parties — as well as the U.S. Chambers of Commerce’s Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the AFL-CIO’s American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center).” (Sussman 2006)
Women’s Lives & Contradictions in NGOs
In discussing the role, function, and status of women’s NGOs with those intimately involved with them, we arrived at several conclusions. First, there is a lack of critical feminist consciousness: The feminism being promoted through the NGOs is far weaker than the liberal feminism being practiced today in the Middle East.
Consequently, after more than a decade of hard work on women’s issues, patriarchy in its harsher religious-feudal-nationalist form has remained intact and indeed has taken a new harsher form in response to external forces of militarism and occupation, with the subsequent rise of internal forces of religious fundamentalism and patriarchal nationalism.
In my discussion with these women, I asked about an extensive 2002 survey of the Kurdish region conducted by the Rural Rehabilitation and Community Development Program of the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA). To my astonishment, they either were not aware of this massive survey or had not used it. To my knowledge this survey is one of the most comprehensive on the social, economic, and political situation of women in northern Iraq.
To collect the data, 23 organizations and five ministries were involved; 20,134 women of 15 years and above were interviewed. The result is a two-volume report of a total of 1546 pages of data and analysis. The study covered 11 areas of education and learning; culture; health; psychology; women’s status in the family; human rights and legal awareness; marriage; political participation; violence; economic independence; and widows.
The research undertaken and the data collected for this expansive survey and the lack of awareness of its results all show that most women’s organizations and NGOs in Kurdistan have very little or no knowledge of the real situation of Kurdish women. They do not have much contact with people at the grassroots level nor are they in possession of statistics about women. The elite, or “pioneers” as they are called in the report, rely on information generated by mainstream intellectuals, other elites or the political parties with whom they are associated.
These two streams, the grassroots women’s movement and the women’s NGO elite, are completely disconnected. According to this report, women are the “great losers” of the last decades in Iraq. Despite the claims of the elite women’s organizations that they have addressed the concerns of Kurdish women, the patriarchy that exists in Kurdish society has not been addressed, as evident in the report’s statistics.
Thirty-seven percent of women in Kurdistan are illiterate. Most women marry under the age of 19 because women over 23 are considered past their prime for marriage. Because of early marriage, few women move on to higher education. Those who manage to gain higher education, participate in politics or have a job that does not revolve around the family are no longer respected in their communities.
The report finds that 49.67% of women do not posses adequate knowledge about women’s health; there is no health education in school and they do not receive this education at home either. There is no structural or systemic means of obtaining information on women’s health. Nearly one in seven women (13.7%) face violence on a daily basis; 7.11% have been threatened with honor killing, and the majority of these threats (63.85%) come from family members.
In all aspects of women’s lives, it is evident from the data presented in this report that Kurdish women are far below the average when it comes to the quality of life and provision of basic needs and services for women. Most distressingly, there has been no successful intervention by NGOs on behalf of the “Anfal widows,” the widows of victims of the Baathist genocide. After a decade, these women still have no inheritance, property, or custody rights, let alone the right to remarry. Furthermore, there has been little change in terms of the representation of gender relations in text books or in media portrayal of women.
The term “Non-Governmental Organization” can be best understood in connection with the term “state.” In theory, NGOs are counterposed to the institution of the state which, both ancient and modern, has engaged in systemic violence against the people it has ruled. It is claimed that, in the Middle East or Latin America or Asia and Africa, the state can be tamed by the proliferation of NGOs — that is, NGOs instead of and against social movements and against revolution.
The relationship of reconstruction and destruction, peace and war is itself violent. A component of the systemic nature of this violence is a (re-)construction regime that is actually destructive of women’s rights in that it furthers the possibility for capital accumulation through dispossession of producers, indigenous people, oppressed nations — and women.
In the case of women’s NGOs, this dispossession occurs in the process of framing very real women’s issues — violence against women, literacy, peace — as a problem amenable to entrepreneurial solutions, to be managed by elite women who benefit at the expense of the dispossessed by furthering their own wealth and careers.
The alternative to imperialism and nationalism is internationalism, not only as a romantic vision of the left but a necessity in a world of intensifying capitalist exploitation. Women of Iraq share with women of the West no less than a century of struggle for gender equality, democracy, freedom, and socialism. This shared politics, rather than different identities of religion, nation, language, race and geography, is the key to a future without war, hunger, exploitation and domination.
Amnesty International (2005a). Afghanistan: Addressing the Past to Secure the Future. 19 pages.
Amnesty International (2005b). Israel and the Occupied Territories: Conflict, Occupation and Patriarchy, Women Carry the Burden. 36 pages.
Davis, Mike (2004) “Planet of Slums,” New Left Review, No. 26:5-34.
El-Kassem, Nadeen (2007) “Organising Women or Women Organising? ‘Reconstruction’ and Women’s NGOs in Iraq,” Eighth Mediterranean Research Meeting, Mediterranean Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute, Italy.
Harvey, David (2005) The New Imperialism. Oxford University Press.
Enloe, Cynthia (2004) The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Meiksins Wood, Ellen (2006) “Democracy as Ideology of Empire,” in Colin Moores (ed.), The New Imerialists: Ideologies of Empire. Oxford: One World, 9-23.
Sussman, Gerald (2006) “The myths of ‘democracy assistance’: U.S. political intervention in post-Soviet Eastern Europe,” Monthly Review, 58 (7): 15-29.
Zangana, Haifa (2006) “The unfinished struggle: Priorities of Iraq Women under occupation,” paper presented at the international conference on Women, War and Learning, University of Toronto, Canada.
Zangana, Haifa (forthcoming) “Colonial feminists from Washington to Baghdad: Women For a Free Iraq as a case study,” in: Jacqueline Ismael and William Haddad (eds.), Barriers to Reconciliations. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America.
ATC 129, July-August 2007