Past Meets Present
This concluding chapter describes how the Iraqi women's rights activists believe that the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq were pulling back to the days of the British-backed Hashemite monarchy, when women were treated as second-class citizens. It marks similar threads running through past British and present American policies influencing the fate of two generations of Iraqi women separated by half a century. Under the Americans who came to Iraq armed with a vision of creating a free and democratic state in which women's rights are enshrined, women were returned to pre-1958 conditions, which led to a new wave of tribalization and subordination. Similar to as in the Hashemite period, the American occupational forces were desperate to impose order. They recruited tribal elements to secure borders and protect oil facilities, and convened tribal courts that sanctioned coercive practices pertaining to women.
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