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Tishreen Women and the 2021 Iraqi Elections

By Hadeel Abdelhameed

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Based on 42 semi-structured interviews with Iraqi women activists, this report argues that Iraqi women’s participation in Tishreen was organic, unfolding a variety of women’s political interests, views, and capacities outside the influence of NGOs and CSOs. Second, Tishreen women’s participation in the elections had remarkably impacted the elections’ results. While their electoral roles reflected their political stances, Tishreen women achieved changes in the political scene post-Tishreen. Third, there are several gaps in the amended electoral law that impeded some Tishreen women’s participation in the elections. The district-based new law limited the polling process to the residential districts, incapacitating threatened activists, men and women, from voting. Further, the zoning of balloting into district-based constituencies reduced the selection process. Finally, women’s political activism in Iraq is dangerous. Iraqi women activists and protesters have been working under an authoritarian climate, defying gender-bias restrictions, and gender-based violence. Nevertheless, women have been able to redirect the routes of their activism either by changing the means, or by indirectly being politically and electorally active. The report is available in English and Arabic below.

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