Researcher Shatha Khalil *
The modern and contemporary history of Iraq witnessed political, social and economic movements that believed in the role of women and sought to play an effective role.
As it is well known, Iraq after the formation of the modern state in 1921, gave way to interrelated building operations, successive governments have laid the foundations for building modern education, modern administration, modern army, modern health, advanced economy and new social relations among the components of modern Iraqi society, and the Iraqi economy witnessed a real revolution in which the impact was reflected on the structure of society and its ideas and arts and values, traditions and customs, and those processes faced some delays and problems , but did not prevent the Iraqi women take their role, both in the family or work in the public and private sectors.
Iraqi women enjoyed good rights in many areas, but in view of the exceptional circumstances experienced by Iraq, they faced many challenges, such as successive wars, economic siege, internal conflicts and loss of human security, which caused them to suffer heavy economic and social burdens.
On Friday, 8 March, the President of the Republic, Dr. Barham Salih, congratulated Iraqi women and world women on the occasion of their International Day.
Salih said in a letter sent on this occasion, he said that the Woman’s Day comes this year as we recall the leading role of Iraqi woman in the travel of life, and strive hard to obtain her legitimate rights to contribute to the construction of Iraqi society.
Salih added in his message that the countries and peoples of the world celebrate the day of the icon of society and the nucleus of the family to stand on the achievements made in granting woman her fair rights, imposed by necessity, and all laws of heaven, and approved by many laws and legislation.
The President of the Republic recalled the leading role of the woman in the building of society, stressing that the Women’s Day comes this year as we recall the leading role of Iraqi woman in the journey of life and her serious efforts to achieve her legitimate rights to contribute to the building of Iraqi society and its development and prosperity along with her brother, the man as we recall with her a bright history of struggle, building, sacrifice and education.
His Excellency stressed that today we have a humanitarian and historical responsibility that urges us to be anti- violence , protect and empower her in the society and wishing on this occasion that woman take her leading role in building, reconstruction and participation in decision-making.
The President of the Republic concluded his message by paying tribute to the brave and creative Iraqi omen in all spheres of life.
We can say that the Iraqi women were not ordinary in the production they left, but their product was distinguished and rich in many artistic and legal values, whether at the national, Arab or humanitarian level, and it is not easy to limit women’s activity in the process of political, economic, social and cultural construction , it needs a great effort and time, but what we should point out here is that modern and contemporary Iraqi history is full of pages that speak about Iraqi women and what they produced to their country in various fields.
Iraq was the first Arab country in which woman becomes a minister , where Dr. Naziha Jodat al-Dulaimi has been appointed Minister of Works and Municipalities in 1959 and Dr. Suad Khalil Ismail (1928- 1965) was chosen Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in 1963, as we have known in Iraq poetess who are good enough to have a leadership in poetic creativity such as Fatima Hussein Abdul Wahab ( 1993-1917 ) who was known with the name of Sadoufa al-Ubidiya (1926-1997), poetess Nazik al-Malaik (1923-2007), poetess Ateka Wahbi al-Khazraji (1926-1997), poetess Sabriya Nuri Qader (1928-), poetess Lmeaa Abbas Umarah (1929), Dr. Bakiza Amin Khaki (1931-), and Dr. Rabab Abdul Mohsen Kazemi (1918-1998) , Ibtihaj Atta Amin (1927-), and Zuhoor Dquisn (1933-), and Shafika Ali Hussein, May Mudhaffar , Dr. Bushra Al Bustani, and Amal Abdul Qader Al-Zahawi, and Faedah Al-Yassin, and Amal Zahir Hassan al-Jubouri.
In the field of music and music research, Sheherazade Qassem Hassan and Amal Ibrahim Mohammed became famous.
In terms of literary criticism, there were many women, including Dr. Bushra Musa Saleh.
At the level of the story, the novel and the writing of the theater, there were Daisy al-Amir, Suhaila Dawood Salman, Latifia Dulaimi, Salama Salih, Buthaina al-Nasri, Maysaloun Hadi Khammas, Abtasam Abdullah, Izdahar Salman and Irada al-Jubouri.
In the medical field, there were famous names of Iraqi women doctors such as Dr. Sanaha Mohamed Amin Zaki, Dr. Lamea Taha El Badri, Dr. Siraanoush Rihani, Dr. Laman Amin Zaki (1924-2000), Dr. Sabeeha Abdel Razzaq Mustafa El Dabbagh, Dr. Amna Sabry Mourad, Dr Amal Ali Mal Ullah al-Khatib, and Dr. Buthaina Tawfiq al-Nuaimi, who was the first female doctor in Iraq to conduct an experiment to determine the sex of the fetus.
In the field of nursing, we knew Janet Habib Touma and Badia Mohammed Najeeb Al Sharifi, who received her MA in Nursing from Boston University in the United States of America in 1973. She has her own activities in family planning associations as well as her research in nursing and obstetrics and gynecological diseases.
In the field of Islamic art, Balqis Mohsen Al-Qazwini was distinguished and studied at the University of Durham in Britain. In the field of architecture, we remember Zaha Muhammad Hadid and the historians Dr. Malihah Rahmat ullah, Dr. Wagda Al-Atraqi, Dr. Bakiza Rafiq Helmi (1924-2003) Dr. Nabelah Abdul-Moneim, Dr. Najia Abdullah Ibrahim, Dr. Sabah Ibrahim Al-Sheikhli, and Dr. Khawla Shaker Dujaili.
At the level of our journalists , there are distinguished Iraqi women such as Bolina Hasoon , the owner of the magazine “Layla” , and Maryam Rufael Nirma (1890-1927) , Sala Zaku , Salam Khayat , Nada Shawkat and Dr. Anaam Kja je and Asma Muhammed Mustafa .
In the field of justice we found distinguished Iraqi women. In addition to Judge Sabeeha Sheikh Daoud, there is Raja al-Jubouri, Judge Rafidah Muzahim Abdul-Wahid Shabandar, Judge Sajida Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Kubaisi and Judge Suad Abdul Wahab Al-Dabbagh.
The university academic work witnessed distinguished professors from whom I received some of what I learned in the formative psychology, especially Dr. Naima al-Shamma and Salwa Akrawi.
Dr. Tahira Issa Al-Rifai and Dr. Hanan Al-Jubouri also appeared in the education fields.
In the field of chemistry, Albertine Elia Haboush and Dr. Sajida Abdel Hamid Khalil Al Hashemi were famous.
In the field of mathematics, Renee Bashir Sarsam emerged, and Thanya al -Hussein Nafusi.
In physics, Ala al-Musawi, and Batul al-Gharawi were emerged .
In English, in our early days, when we were students at the University of Baghdad in the early 1960s, Dr. Amy Skweira was the best English teacher. We should not forget about Dr. Hayat Muhammad Sharara (1935-1997), whose interest in Russian literature , and Kuther Mohamed Khair al-Jazaeri.
In the Qur’anic literature, we find Dr. Ibtisam Marhoon Al-Saffar, who had original studies in this field.
In the art of flower arrangement Najeeb Saber was famous and in fine arts. Many women ere emerged , including Nazih Selim (1927-2008), Wadad Al Urfali, Hayat Jamil Hafez, Nadra Azzouz, Laila Al Attar and Lisa Fattah (1941-1992) , Suad Al Attar, Batool Tawfiq Al-Fikiki, Najat Salman Haddad, Muhayn Abdul-Hussain Mahdi Al-Sarraf and Samira Abdul Wahab.
In the art of sculpture and graphic, Kholod Farhan Saif, and Suha Sharif Yusef and others were emerged.
In the painting on ceramics, Siham Hassan Al-Shakra was emerged, who studied this type of art at Regent Polytechnic in London, and she was trained in Academy of Arts in Prague and held many exhibitions inside and outside Iraq. We also knew about this art, Siham Al-Saudi (1941-1994) who was trained in Italy in 1972 and Sajida al-Mashaykhi.
In the field of singing there were Salima Murad (1905-1974), Sediqa al-Malaya (1909-1974), Sultanah Youssef, Munira Hozuz, Afifa Iskandar, Zahur Hussain, Ahlam Wahbi, Maeda Nizhat , Sita Hakoubian, Amel Khudair and Anwar Abdel Wahab.
Farida Mohammed Ali was famous in al Maqam songs (keynote).
In the novel Safira Jamel Hafez was famous.
In teaching journalism, Dr. Hamedah Smesam and Sudad al-Qadiri were emerged.
In the field of radio and Television work, Gladis Yusuf, Amal AL-Mudaris and Khairiya Habib were emerged.
On the radio and television side, Kaladas Yusuf, Amal Al-Madras, and Khairiya Habib emerged.
In the field of theatrical and cinematic representation, Zeinab Fakheriya abdul Karim (1931-1998), Nahda El-Ramah, Azadouhi Samouil, Siham El-Sebti, Awatif Naim , Enas Talib and others were emerged .
In the field of education, many teachers, school principals who performed their duties have emerged to the fullest extent, including Rashidi Chalabi, Mahaher Hussain Abdulwahab Al Naqshbandi, Kaakeb Glamiran , Ilha Ibrahim Abdul-Amir, Fadia Hussein Al Khashab and Rajha Al Ali.
Anisa Shakara, an expert and researcher on Pediatric Rheumatic disease who has been trained in British hospitals.
Women are also known for their religious awareness such as Sabra al-Azi, whose name is Khadija Mahmoud al-Azi al-Samarrai (1918-1995), and Amna Haider al-Sadr, the daughter of Huda (1937-1980).
At the level of translation, we stood with the most prominent women, including Amal Ali al-Sharqi, Baha al-Jubouri, Azhar al-Mallah (1957-1989), Bahetha al-Jumarid , and Rasmeya Manwar Hashem al-Azzawi and Su’ad ‘Abd al-Ali.
Also , there were prominent professors in economics and statistics, including Batul Jaffar Al-Ansari, Dr. Radina Osman Al-Ahmad, Wafaa Kamel Ibrahim and Dr. Amal Shlash.
In sociology there are Dr. Fawzia Al-Attiyah, Dr. Nahida Abdulkarim, and Dr. Lahai Abdul Hussain.
In philosophy, Dr. Nazla Ahmed Nael Jubouri.
In the Kurdish language we have known many people, including Dr. Nasreen Mohammed Fakhri Sabungi.
And in the physics , Janan Hamed Jassem. In the field of law, we witnessed the emergence of many, including Laila Hussein Maarouf (1940-1986).
In the field of computer science we stand at Laila Abdullatif and Dr. Joan Fuad Masoum, who was known for her experience in the field of communication science.
At the level of women’s rights activists and parliamentarians, there are many who are referred to by fingers , among them Khaleda Abdel Wahab Habib Shalal al-Qaisi, Amal Al-Kashif al-Ghita , Mason Salem Al-Damluji and Safia Al-Suhail.
And among Iraqi women who cared about manuscripts and the maintenance of cultural property are Kazimiya Mohammed Abbas, and Bahira al-Qaisi.
As we know of women who are interested in indexing and library science such as Zahida Ibrahim, Ghaniya Khammas Saleh, Odit Maroun Badran, and Iman Fadel Samarrai.
We knew who cared about the documentation of folklore, Ghada Mohammed Salim, and Batul Salman Daoud.
In the work of the office, Ghaniya Khammas Saleh, and Alham Bashir Alos, and Amal Abdul Rahman were famous.
Iraqi archeologists have also emerged, including Dr. Bahija Khalil Ismail, Salima Abdul Rasoul, Dr. Itmad Yousef al-Kusari and Amal Mutab.
In the field of language, grammar and investigation, we learned Dr. Bahija Baqer al-Hassani, Dr. Khadija Abdul Razzaq Al-Hadithi, and Bruin Badri Tawfiq.
In chemistry, Dr. Thanaa Jafar al-Hassani and Saadia Mahmoud al-Hashemi emerged.
In the field of handwriting , Farah Adnan Ahmed Ezzat emerged.
In the field of Arabic calligraphy, Suhaila al-Jubouri (1935-1991) was famous for her contributions to Arabic calligraphy and Islamic decoration.
Intilaq Mohammed Ali was famous in the field of children’s drawings, and has dozens of Graphic configurations.
Among the female journalists were Badea Amin, Nermin al-Mufti, Maryam al-Sanati, Anam Kaghi, al-Ta’i and Nazek al-Araji.
Among the Iraqi women who founded and managed kindergartens, Aliza Jabri and Adeeba Ibrahim Refaat, the first to establish a nursery in Baghdad in 1956, she founded a kindergarten for children in 1973 and was a social activist since the early 1940s. .
Rafia Jassem Al Abdali was also famous for raising children .
By the way, Iraqi women precede other Arab women in the formation of associations and women’s unions. In this regard, we recall the women who founded the Women’s Renaissance Society in Baghdad on November 24, 1923, including Asma Seddqi al-Zahawi, the sister of the great poet Jamil Sidqi al-Zahawi, Naima Sultan Houda, Paulina Hassoun, the leading journalist, Naima al-Said, the wife of Nuri al-Said, Prime Minister of Iraq at that time , and Mary Abdel-Masih Wazirnoting this association had notable activity .
Iraqi women contributed to the establishment of the Red Crescent Society. Among the most prominent contributors to the founding of the women’s section of the Society in 1933 under the sponsorship of Queen Husaymah, wife of King Faisal I 1921-1933, were Su’ad Al-Omari, Alia Sami Fattah, Sabihah Sheikh Daoud, Asma Munir Abbas, NezhaT Aqrawi . The Society of Nation Houses, founded by a group of intellectuals in Iraq on August 11, 1935, had a women’s section that included many of women such as Alyah Yahya Qassem, Dhafira Jaafar, and Fhakheriya Sheikhon and Badriya Ali.
Iraqi women also played a role in the activities of the Society for Combating Social Illness, founded in Baghdad in 1937. The association was founded by Ms. Fattouh Al-Dabouni, a specialist in the field of Deaf and Mute Education, University of Manchester in England, Sara Al-Jamali, Murdhya al-Pajaji , Haseba al-Jeba Je , Shahbal Fadel, Asia Tawfiq Wahbi and Aisha Khunda.
We can not forget the efforts of the Iraqi Women’s Union and its social and cultural activities, which founded in Baghdad in 1945 in response to the decisions adopted by the first Arab Women’s Union Conference, convened by Mrs. Hoda Shaarawi. It was held in Cairo in 1944 as an attempt to coordinate the efforts of Arab women, and work to establish her civil and political rights .
The founders of the Union were Asya Tawfiq Wehbe (1901-1980), who headed the period from 1945 to 1958, Hassiba Amin Khalis, Azza Al-Istrabadi, Aisha Khunda, Afifa Al Bustani, Dhafira Jaafar , Murdhyia al-Baja je and Fattouh Al-Dabouni.
The Association was founded in Baghdad in 1948 to care for women and children, members of the administrative body of the Association in 1958 , and among members of the administrative body of the association in 1958 are Adiba Ibrahim Refaat, and Dr. Laman Amin Zaki, and Mahasin Kilani, Dr. Suad Khalil Ismail, poetess Lameaa Abbas Amara, and Amna Ahmed Ramzi, Fatima Ahmed Kadri , And Nazeha Araji.
In the General Union of Iraqi Women, a number of women activists emerged, including Sherman Jawdat Yacoubi and Batul Ghazal.
To sum up, the role and importance of a woman in all human societies can not be denied. She is not half of society as rumored; she is the true partner and contributor to building communities in different sectors such as economy, education and politics.
The Iraqi woman, whether she lived in the countryside or lived in the city, and did not occupy her career, administrative, health or legal work, does not mean that she was absent from contributing to the formation of the modern Iraqi state and the development of society and increase it with the needs of young men and women. To stay at home and raise children and the sincerity in teaching them the good habits are indications of her noble role and her keenness to increase the political, economic , social and cultural structure , It is worth for the daughters and women of Iraq today to remember the history of their mothers and grandmothers and their role in the history of Iraq, and to rise to participate in the reconstruction process after the damage and occupation of all the structures of society in their country , and thus prove that they are loyal to Iraq and its great civilization and human history, and yet the Iraqi woman did not reach the actual ambition, despite the rights granted, as they still face great challenges in the economic sphere, and participation in the sustainable development of society.
Economic Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research Links and Strategic Studies