Yanar Mohammed is the founder of Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), an organization fighting to stop atrocities against women and advocate for women’s social, political and economic rights, and a V-Day/ One Billion Rising activist. She shared the following message about the recent bombing in Baghdad:

“There are no words to express the anger, sadness, and helplessness. A huge explosion takes place in the heart of Baghdad in Karrada, where families were shopping for new clothes to celebrate the Eid! Hundreds of mostly young victims were that day’s price to pay for the Islamic religious wars between the Shia government and the Sunni opposition. What the mourning mothers in Karrada shouted outloud was: We do not want your religion … take it away, and go to hell with it.

We in OWFI are shocked while some of our colleagues are still looking for their young relatives among the missing and the rubble in Karrada.

Shame on a government whose ideology of bigotry keeps us all in danger. Shame on the US initiators of occupation who opened a can of worms and are watching us on their TVs as an entertainment show.

As for ISIS, there is no shame as they aren’t even human! Shame on every government which supported ISIS for years, and all Iraqis know that such huge explosion needs governmental resources to maintain. It is no secret that all the governments who support\ed ISIS were the main allies of the US in the region. Damn imperialism and its monstrous laboratories and ways of creating human beasts like ISIS and making destruction and death our long-time verdict. Was the Iraqi oil, or the control of the capitalist world worth the lives of more than a million of innocent people of Iraq. Shame!”

Yanar Mohammed


The following photos were provided by Yanar. (Photo Credit: Sami Aliraqi)


Yanar Mohammed (Iraq) – Yanar Mohammed is the founder of the Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq, which works to promote women’s rights and liberties in Iraq (OWFI). Eight years after emigrating to Toronto, Canada in 1995, Yanar returned to her native country to begin her advocacy work and establish OWFI, whose office was first housed in an abandoned bank in Baghdad in 2003, where she set up the first women’s shelter in Iraq.

After 12 years, OWFI currently has 6 locations for sheltering women in Iraq, in spite of the extremist government’s refusal to grant the legal status to these safe houses. 2 of those locations are for women who had escaped ISIS controlled areas. According to Yanar, almost 400 Iraqi women and girls have been spared death thanks to these shelters. Yanar also started a radio station and newspaper by the name Al Mousawat, meaning “equality” in Arabic. In 2014 Yanar confronted the Minister of Justice who drafted the Jaafari Law for female children’s marriage, and led a radio campaign against the law, which resulted in governmental order to close the station. Recently in October, Yanar addressed the UN Security Council about the sufferings of Iraq women due to “politics of division and extremism” in Iraq.

Her current project is sheltering women who escape ISIS, in addition to campaigning for the safety of women who were raped and impregnated and by ISIS – and will be wanted for honour killing by their own families and tribes, after liberating Iraqi cities from ISIS.