We Are Still Here: Mosulite Women 500 Days After the Conclusion of the Coalition Military Operation

WILPF has released a comprehensive report about the gendered impacts of military operations in Mosul, Iraq.

mosul reportIn 2016-2017, the Iraqi government, allied militias, and international forces including the United States launched a military offensive in Mosul to retake the city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). During this operation, all parties to the conflict displayed disregard for the human rights of the local civilian populations, including through the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and gender-based violence. Almost two years after Mosul was declared ‘liberated’ from Daesh, 1.8 million displaced Iraqis remain unable to return to their homes and large parts of the city are entirely destroyed.

While people of all sexes and gender identities are all enduring the repercussions of Daesh’s rule and subsequent military operations and displacement, women and girls are disproportionately impacted under both settings. Both the Iraqi authorities and the intervening powers failed to take into account and address the different experiences of women and girls, thereby failing to meet their specific needs and demands. The space and resources for local civil society to operate have been diminishing despite them being the first and main responders to the humanitarian catastrophe.

It is crucial, therefore, to analyse the impact of the military operation on the city, the population and social cohesion within the community from a feminist, civilian-entered perspective and challenge toxic security partnerships that reinforce the drivers of conflict and force militarised security on the civilian population. This report is aimed at UN member states and other international actors as a means to urge them to understand the devastating impact military operations have on women and take lessons on board as they set and implement future responses to conflicts in Iraq and the region.

Written by Rasha Jarhum and Alice Bonfatti • Edited by Sarah Boukhary • Published in January 2019 by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom