This week, Yanar Mohammed, a leading women’s rights activist in Iraq and the founder of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), testified before the United Nations Security Council about the systematic use of sexual violence against women and girls in Iraq and the need for the Iraqi government to let non-governmental organizations like OWFI provide refuge. OWFI runs an underground network of safehouses for women trying to escape violence, which authorities in Iraq have prohibited while also failing to provide adequate protection for survivors. With the ongoing conflict between ISIS and local militias, these shelters are needed now more than ever, as women and girls flee persecution and the threat of sexual enslavement. You can watch Yanar’s powerful testimony below.
The Center for Constitutional Rights partners with OWFI in the Right to Heal initiative, which calls for accountability and reparations for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.