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Remember Iraqi women on International Women's Day

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International Women's Day, March 8, should be a global day of celebration over the economic, political and social achievements of women worldwide.

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Instead I mourn what my government has done to the women of Iraq.

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The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq have brought an alarming increase in violence against women, including "honor killings" by religious fundamentalists. Women who do not subordinate their role to that of property of male family members have no value among the fundamentalists.

The Iraq Freedom Congress, a grassroots political movement headquartered in Baghdad, issued a statement congratulating women worldwide on International Women's Day and asked that people everywhere stand with the women of Iraq as they face oppression from sectarian gangs.

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While hundreds of women have been murdered by religious gangs, unveiled women are routinely targeted and threatened with violence if they don't wear hajibs and follow strict Islamic law. The government has not moved to stop the violence or the threats, according to the Iraq Freedom Congress.

"Iraq Freedom Congress stands at the forefront of the struggle to expel these bandits from Iraq," said Amjad Al-Jawhary, an IFC spokesperson.

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Kathlyn Stone is a Minnesota-based writer covering science and medicine, health care and related policies.-She publishes www.fleshandstone.net, a health and science news site.
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