OWFI members celebrating their win.
Last January, the Iraqi government filed a lawsuit to crumble the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), a longtime MADRE partner who provides crucial protection for women escaping violence and discrimination. But OWFI prevailed! After a long legal attack on OWFI’s brave truth-telling and life-saving work for Iraqi women and girls, a judge recently dismissed all claims against them.
We are proud to continue uplifting OWFI’s work to provide essential protection to women and girls, including operating a nationwide network of shelters and safe houses for women currently deemed illegal in Iraq. This network, for example, was a vital source of support for women and girls targeted for rape and sexual slavery by ISIS. OWFI stepped up, mobilizing to provide care, counseling, and shelter for survivors and those at-risk of ISIS violence. Their work continues to be recognized and applauded by local judges and authorities across the country — for the very same work that their government attacked.
MADRE’s team of legal experts helped support OWFI through this long legal battle, demonstrating our steadfast support for partners through thick and thin.
OWFI’s victory is a testament to their crucial work and dedicated commitment to advancing women and girls’ rights in Iraq. Thanks to your support, OWFI can continue their efforts to safeguard what may be the only path to safety for women and girls escaping honor killings, domestic violence, and sexual abuse, ensuring that everyone receives the care and support they need to heal and thrive.