A chapter written by Dr. Choman Hardi, AUIS Assistant Professor and Founder and Director of the Center of Gender and Development Studies, titled “The Women’s Movement in Kurdistan-Iraq” has been published in “The Cambridge History of the Kurds” (April 2021).
In it, Dr. Hardi explains how the history of women’s activism in Iraqi Kurdistan is closely intertwined with the history of political resistance. In the 1950s, she cites, women mobilized against political oppression and later joined the struggle in various capacities, however few women played leadership roles in the resistance.
The chapter further elaborates on changes in 1992, when civil society organizations, including women’s rights organizations, proliferated. This growth in the 1990s and 2000s, she argues, combined with the end of the four-year Kurdish civil war in 1998, led to the formation of collaborative networks and umbrella organizations. Now, Dr. Hardi says, it is possible to speak of a women’s movement that, despite its internal shortcomings and outside obstacles, has been able to bring about change in the region.
The chapter builds on two earlier studies by Dr. Hardi about the women’s movement in Kurdistan. This piece highlights the achievements and limitations, and focuses on what to do next to overcome perceived stagnation.