Iraq is on the brink of civil war and violence against women is on the rise. International aid agencies have evacuated, and government services are practically non-existent. OWFI, MADRE's Iraqi partner group, is one of the only organizations working on the ground to protect women and families from violence. They need our immediate help to expand their shelter services to a town in ISIS-controlled territory, where women are at great risk of rape, kidnapping and forced marriage.
MADRE and OWFI will open a new shelter in ISIS-controlled territory for rape survivors and women fleeing abuse, offering vital refuge and humanitarian aid including food, water, clothing and medical care. We will also provide safe birthing kits and other supplies for an emergency maternity center for women in labor who are prevented by the violence from reaching a hospital. Women and girls fleeing violence will be safe and gain access to the immediate services they need to heal from trauma.
In addition to covering the costs of immediate needs for shelter, food and medical care, MADRE and OWFI use human rights training programs to empower women and girl shelter residents to reach out to other victims and build their skills to be agents of change. Through OWFI programs, women and girls expand their capacity to advocate for the full range of women's rights.