UK: Playing with our lives: the realities for women in Iraq and Afghanistan

Act Together
On 22 May, Act Together: Women’s Action on Iraq invites you to a film, a series of talks and discussions about the realities of women’s lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. We want to go beyond the political rhetoric & fill a gap in the current media coverage.
22 May 2006, 18:30-21:30
Khalili Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG.
We will explore:
  1. official policies of the UK and US governments for women and gender in Iraq and Afghanistan
  2. changing legal and economic conditions, the impact on women’s lives and the political struggles of women living under occupation.
Although Act Together focuses on women in Iraq, in this discussion we want to draw attention to parallels in gender and reconstruction policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the ways women’s issues have been instrumentalized.

The speakers are:

Nicola Pratt, Lecturer in Politics, University of East Anglia:
Gender policies of the US and UK in Iraq

Mandana Hendessi, National Commission for Women:
Personal experiences of the gender policies adopted by the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq

Deniz Kandiyoti, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies, SOAS:
Reconstruction and gender politics in Afghanistan

Suad Al Jazairy, Iraqi journalist and member of Iraqi Women's League:
The situation of women in Iraq now

Nadje Al-Ali, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of Exeter:
Iraqi women's activism in the diaspora

Maysoon Pachachi, film-maker and co-founder of a free-of-charge film-training centre in Baghdad, Independent Film & Television College.
Will introduce 'Baghdad Days' by Hiba Bassem, a recent student at the school.

Hiba Bassem, a young woman from Kirkuk, returns to Baghdad after the war, to finish her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts. The film is a diary of her year as she tries to find a place to live, looks for work, graduates from college, deals with family problems and struggles to come to terms with her position as a woman on her own. This film has just won a New Horizons silver award at the Al Jazeera International Film Festival in Doha.