ExpertiseDemocracy and Political Participation
Refugees, Migration, IDPs
Sexual Violence in Conflict
Women Human Rights Defenders
‘Iraq for Iraqis’: After decades of corruption, occupation and proxy wars, young Iraqis demand a new future CBC Radio Sunday Edition Jan 17, 2020
Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq Prevails, Winning Year-long Court Battle MADRE.org Nov 20, 2020
As Death Toll Tops 220, Iraqi Protesters Stay in Streets Calling for End to Corrupt Government Democracy Now! Oct 29, 2019
Inside Iraq’s secret shelters for domestic violence survivors BBC News Dec 3, 2018
Finding a Path Back to Iraq, and Toward Securing Women’s Freedom New York Times Nov. 27, 2015
Yanar Mohammed (@Yanar_Mohammed) is the co-founder and director of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), a national women’s organization dedicated to rebuilding Iraq on the basis of secular democracy and human rights for all.
One of OWFI’s key operations is running secret women’s shelters in Baghdad, helping more than 800 women over the years escape domestic violence, death threats and exploitation. Women who have been forced to flee dangerous living situations are provided safe accommodation, psychosocial support and counseling, civic and human rights education, as well as life and job skills training.
In an interview for the Global Fund for Women, Yanar explains OWFI’s work against increased trafficking in women and girls amid the turmoil caused by Islamic extremists and ISIS.
OWFI supports marginalized communities, including women with disabilities, LGBTQ Iraqis, Afro-Iraqis and Turkmen, and Yazidi families displaced by conflict. OWFI programming includes broadcasts about peace, tolerance and respect for human rights to combat societal discrimination towards women and LGBT Iraqis via the radio and OWFI’s newspaper “Al-Mousawaat.”
For her work, Yanar has received such prestigious awards as the Gruber Prize for Women’s Rights in 2008, the Eleanor Roosevelt Global Women’s Rights award in 2013 and Norway’s Rafto Prize in 2016.