Thursday, August 16, 2007

Iraq: Mothers Prostituting to Feed Children

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - The women are too afraid and ashamed to show their faces or have their real names used. They have been driven to sell their bodies to put food on the table for their children -- for as little as $8 a day.

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Suha, 37, is a mother of three. She says her husband thinks she is cleaning houses when she leaves home.

"People shouldn't criticize women, or talk badly about them," says 37-year-old Suha as she adjusts the light colored scarf she wears these days to avoid extremists who insist women cover themselves. "They all say we have lost our way, but they never ask why we had to take this path."

A mother of three, she wears light makeup, a gold pendant of Iraq around her neck, and an unexpected air of elegance about her.

"I don't have money to take my kid to the doctor. I have to do anything that I can to preserve my child, because I am a mother," she says, explaining why she prostitutes herself.

Anger and frustration rise in her voice as she speaks.

"No matter what else I may be, no matter how off the path I may be, I am a mother!"

Her clasped hands clench and unclench nervously. Suha's husband thinks that she is cleaning houses when she goes away...

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON CNN.com

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