Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Iraq: New Report Exposes Prostitution and Trafficking of Women and Girls

IRAQ - A report researched and published by the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) has been published this month. The report exposes the growing problem of prostitution and trafficking of women and girls both within and out of the country of Iraq. As well, the report considers women who were already being prostituted before the war, and examines the prostitution/trafficking problem by historical and political era. -SG

The report begins:

In spite of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) background on women's rights, we did not expect nor comprehend the extent of the problem when we received reports of the kidnapping of women and girls in Baghdad in May 2003. When we started to gather reports from Baghdad neighborhoods the following summer, the numbers were shocking. We expressed our dismay to the media and fearing that a new and vicious era has attacked the women of Iraq. OWFI learned that trafficking of women is the hidden face of war, insecurity and chaos.

In those days, we sympathized with women who were forced or maybe sold into prostitution. We did not have the same consideration for women who were already prostituted in brothels. We thought of them as the unfortunate margins of the society. It was only in 2006, that we noticed an epidemic rise in the number of women who prostituted for a living, whether in formal brothels, in regular working places, or in a hidden neighborhood hideaway. The numbers were obviously no longer something we could consider an unfortunate marginal minority. It was only then that we, in OWFI, decided to investigate the extent prostitution in Iraq, in order to better understand the underground industry of trafficking which thrives on the exploitation of women's flesh.

READ THE FULL REPORT AT EqualityInIraq.com (opens as a PDF)

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