UK: International widows day 23 June 2006 - support Iraqi widows now!

Act Together - Women’s Action for Iraq
According to official and NGO sources, more than 90 Iraqi women become widows each day due to continuing violence across the country.
In other words, far over 90 Iraqi men die daily from the violence caused by the occupation forces, sectarian tensions and insurgents.
Although few reliable statistics are available on the total number of widows in Iraq, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs says that there are at least 300,000 in Baghdad alone, with hundreds of thousands more throughout the country. (UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs, April 2006).

Saddam Hussein was responsible for the killings of thousands of men during his repressive dictatorship: political repression and a series of wars caused a demographic imbalance with the female population making up about 55-65% of the overall population of about 24 million Iraqis. The situation has become much more critical since the US-led invasion in 2003, as the daily violence and killings of innocent civilians goes side by side with an ineffective government that fails to provide the necessary financial and social support for the growing numbers of widows. Left with virtually no government support, no salaries due to the economic crisis and high unemployment rates, collapsed family networks due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and lack of security, many widows are left no choice but to beg on the streets or even to engage in prostitution.

We call for:
  • The end of the occupation to stop the violence by US and UK forces
  • The end of the killing of innocent civilians by insurgents and militias
  • Financial assistance and wide-scale income generating projects for widows
  • Legal rights and representation especially in terms of the atrocities committed by the previous regime and the occupation forces
Join us on 23 June from 14:30 - 16:30 for a Silent Vigil on the steps of St. Martin's in the Field, Trafalgar Square, London, UK