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In pics...Massive presence of women in Iraq protests

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In pics...Massive presence of women in Iraq protests

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Massive number of Iraqi women on Thursday took to streets nationwide to express their complete solidarity with Iraqi revolution.

The young Iraqis are fighting for a modern, independent nation. For decades the country has been brutalized by dictatorship, war, corruption, and unemployment.

Powerful footage went viral on social media, showing Al-Tahrir Square crowded with female protesters in an all-women march.

Supported by their brothers of protesters, Iraqi women show their never-ending role in the Iraq Protests.

Anti-government protests have been ongoing in Baghdad and other major cities since 1st October. According to Iraq's High Commission of Human Rights, more than 500 people have so been killed and over 25,000 more suffered injuries.

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Why Iraq's youthful protests endure

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Iraq’s capital of Baghdad was carpeted with a rare snowfall Tuesday. 

It brought people onto the streets to make snowmen together and join in friendly snowball fights. 

The collective experience was an apt reflection of the past four months in Iraq. Since Oct. 1, tens of thousands of young people have maintained nonviolent and leaderless protests in major cities, hoping to redefine the meaning of community for Iraq. 

So far, despite the killing of more than 500 demonstrators, neither the protesters nor their shared vision has melted away.

With nearly half of Iraqis under age 21, the protesters are as difficult to ignore as are their idealistic aims. 

They focus on creating a secular state that respects civic rights and an end to a type of government in which power and oil wealth are divvied up by religious and ethnic groups. They also want foreign powers (namely Iran) to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs.

Such aims are similar to those raised during months of protests in nearby Lebanon. In both countries, the uprising has led to the downfall of a prime minister and an uneasy tension with the political elite over who will run government. 

In Iraq, the protesters have a powerful ally, the revered Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. He has called for an end to the killing of protesters and for free and fair elections “as soon as possible.” A new government, he says, must earn the people’s trust.

Because of Iraq’s pivotal position in the Middle East, its protests may be the most significant of the many youthful protests that erupted worldwide in 2019 from Chile to Algeria to Hong Kong. 

If one element binds these grassroots movements, it has been the rejection of how governments have been organized and an embrace of inclusive democracy based on universal principles.

In a speech Monday, Achim Steiner, administrator of the United Nations Development Program, described this global trend in its broadest meaning:

“From the grassroots, to the business communities, to people voting with their feet in protest, mature democracies and autocracies alike are experiencing a new form of community today – a new form of people power – representing a profound shift in the global landscape of collaboration and dissent....

“We once thought of a community as a group of people who live in the same geographic area, or who share socio-economic, ethnic, linguistic, or religious characteristics. 

The evolving global context, including the extent to which new technologies have empowered communication and information-sharing at the individual-level, requires us to embrace a far wider definition.

“Many communities that drive change now cut across the boundaries of class, geography, language, religion, political orientation, and identity. They do not ‘respect’ the typologies of the past.

“What binds them together is shared experience, understanding, belief, and common visions and ways of working.”

His explanation helps justify the close attention to the protests in Iraq. A new meaning of community may be forming, one that could reshape a troubled region. Like a blanket of snow, young Iraqis are bringing a country together in a way it rarely experiences.

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12 hours ago, Pitcher said:

Massive number of Iraqi women on Thursday took to streets nationwide to express their complete solidarity with Iraqi revolution.

 

Well . . . now you've done it ! The women are now out in large numbers; CONGRATULATIONS you GOI IDIOTS, you now have the women sufficiently pizzzed off and standing shoulder to shoulder in Solidarity. 

 

RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN ! ! ! Hell Hath No Fury like a Women's FURY ! ! ! 

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Iraq Pulse

Iraqi protests blush pink as feminists flood streets

Lujain Elbaldawi February 14, 2020
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As hardline clerics rail against women attending the nationwide protests in Iraq, feminists held rallies in Baghdad, Nasiriyah and other cities in support of women's participation as well as the ongoing protest movement.
 
 
 
Iraqi women take to the streets dressed in pink and purple in defiance of claims that their participation in protests is immoral in Baghdad, Iraq, seen in a still from a video taken Feb. 13, 2020.

BAGHDAD — Feminists in pink and purple marched on Feb. 13 in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Nasiriyah and other cities in the south.

Women have had a central role in the protest movement since it started last October, participating in the protests alongside men and supported the movement by preparing food and providing first aid. Now they and their supporters have marched to challenge the distortions being circulated about their cause as part of the rising feminist movement in Iraq and the region in general.

The feminist march faced accusations from opposers who consider the participation of women in protests to be immoral and unethical. Pro-Iran Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, for example, has criticized women’s presence at protests and called for separation of the genders.

In an 18-point statement providing instructions for protests, Sadr said, “Protesters must respect the rules of Sharia and the social context of the country as much as possible. The two genders must not mix in protest tents.”

Protesters responded on social media with messages of support for women’s political action. Many people crossdressed to express equality between men and women and calls for a specifically feminist march rose.

Women's rights activist and former diplomat Ahlam al-Kilani told Al-Monitor that women have played an important role in the protest movement since it started, standing against oppression and terrorism and making great sacrifices. Some have even lost their lives in the protests. 

Kilani believes that the presence of women at the protests reflects social changes in Iraq and protesters' ambition to include all segments of society, to fulfill their national duty without falling victim to sectarianism and social inequality. 

In response to the feminist pushback, Sadr intensified his discourse against women’s participation in marches, describing it as immoral and sinful.

“Today, there is a rise in voices demanding liberation, nudity, mixing genders, drunkenness and debauchery. This is blasphemous and an attack on God and the pillars of Sharia. … It is an attack on prophets and holy messengers.”

Sadr’s Blue Hats were allegedly instructed to spread rumors on social media about illicit and blasphemous practices like drinking alcohol in the Turkish restaurant near Tahrir Square, a business they later occupied.

Sadr warned against what he called the “immoral perverse terrorists of urbanization and liberation.” He called on the people to avoid “getting carried away with their animalistic instincts” and threatened, “We will not sit idle while others insult our religion and country. We will not allow them to erase us just like we won’t allow the occupier to stifle Iraq.”

Sadr added, “They do not want Kandahar; they want Chicago. Today, we cannot allow Iraq to become Kandahar, a realm for religious extremism, and we cannot allow Iraq to become a place like Chicago, where immorality, sexual perversion, homosexuality and debauchery are pervasive.” 

Secretary of the Iraqi Hope Association Hana Edward stated in an interview with Al-Monitor that the feminist protest has spread to religious cities such as Najaf and Karbala.

Sadr called his followers to participate in his own feminist march on Feb 14 in an attempt to distract the public from the ongoing protests, which he tried to take advantage of and claim as his own. After failing to do so, he has opposed the movement.

In January, Sadr organized a massive march against what he called “the American occupation” to sideline the protests while his Blue Hats attacked the protesters. Around 10 protesters were killed in Najaf, allegedly by the Blue Hats.

The Sadiqoun bloc of militant grouop Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq issued a statement in line with Sadr’s position expressing disapproval of what it called the debauchery and moral looseness observed in feminist marches. It blamed the United States for “encouraging perverse behavior that is not in line with the values of our society. Such perverse behavior includes drinking, using drugs and the intermingling of men and women. This does not respect Sharia, morality or community.”

Kilani said, “The accusations against women in protests are unfair. The purpose is to cripple their role in the process of collective determination and national and social debates.”

"The wide participation of young women in the feminist march on Feb. 13 was a thundering blow to the discrediting of women's participation in the revolution, especially Muqtada al-Sadr's position," said Edward, adding, "The women in the protest, like their brothers, faced beatings, kidnappings, assassinations and threats of all kinds."

Feminist activist Oum Khaled believes that women have attended the protests “to assert women’s role in society and prove their role in the Iraqi social fabric, which has isolated them. Women are rejecting this isolation through peaceful protest and civil action.”

Found in: Women’s rights
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So far nothing has moved the needle towards a change in value of the IQD.....

 

"Girl Power" just might take care of this.....hope all the Lady's in Iraq had a great Valentine's Day!      CL

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On 2/14/2020 at 9:30 AM, Pitcher said:

In pics...Massive presence of women in Iraq protests


Yo Mahdi’s So Phat - She Was The Only One There ! :o 

 

:D  :D  :D  

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Middle East

Protester killed with silenced gun in Baghdad: report

13 hours ago
 
 

Protester killed with silenced gun in Baghdad: report
Official data from January 2020 noted that unidentified gunmen have assassinated up to 30 activists, most of whom participated in the anti-government protests that erupted late last year to call for the ouster of Iraq’s ruling elite. (Photo: Archive)
 
 

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Unknown assailants attacked a tent at an anti-government protest camp in Baghdad, killing one demonstrator with a silenced pistol, security and medical sources said on Friday.

AFP reported that the incident occurred in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Friday evening. A medical source confirmed the death to the agency, saying it had been carried out using a silenced pistol.

The report cited a witness at the site as having said he had seen many people enter the dead demonstrator’s tent before dragging a body out and taking it to a nearby hospital.

It was unclear why the person was targeted. According to a security source, on Friday and Saturday, three activists were kidnapped in separate areas of Baghdad.

Official data from last month noted that unidentified gunmen have assassinated up to 30 activists, most of whom participated in the anti-government protests that erupted late last year to call for the ouster of Iraq’s ruling elite.

Since they began in early October, Iraqi security forces and Iranian-backed Shia militias have killed over 600 protesters in different parts of the country, according to official statistics. The vast majority of the dead are young protesters who have been disillusioned by a ruling class they see as unashamedly corrupt and dismissive of the everyday concerns of the public.

The movement has maintained momentum, although it has slightly diminished. In recent days, women spearheaded one such protest, marching by the hundreds in the capital to call for, among others, equality and end to corruption

Demonstrators also continue to stay at their tents in sit-in areas of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities, as unidentified gunmen continue to wage a violent crackdown. Recently, followers and militias of the influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have joined attacking demonstration camps.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

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