Women's Lives After ISIS

Abbie Trayler-Smith

As the forces of Islamic State (ISIS) are slowly being pushed back across Iraq, people's lives are returning to some form of normality. Yet for Iraqi women, many difficult challenges lie ahead. ~~This series of portraits looks at a slice of life for women in Iraq in the wake of Islamic State (ISIS). In Autumn 2016 the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, supported by a US-led coalition, converged on Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, which has been in the hands of ISIS since 2014. During this offensive I travelled around northern Iraq with Oxfam to look at the challenges faced by women. I met women at various stages of rebuilding their lives. Some had escaped from Mosul and been freed only a day or so previously and were now seeking refuge in camps. Others were heading back to their villages, rebuilding their houses with their bare hands. Still others were left in complete limbo, unsure where to turn next. ~

Women who have been displaced by war in Iraq or who are living in areas recently retaken from ISIS control are facing many difficulties. They have had to endure over two years of ISIS's brutal rule and have seen their freedom severely restricted. Countless others and their families have experienced violence at the hands of the militants. Though their towns and villages have been wrested back from ISIS control, their ordeal is by no means over. Men of fighting age are routinely rounded up for interrogation as they fall under the suspicion of having supported or fought for ISIS. Thousands of women have been widowed by the conflict and now find their movement restricted in a conservative, male-dominated society that frowns on women on their own in public.~~Through their testimonies, and their resolve, these women tell the difficult story of the effects of war on the lives of women.~~Abbie Trayler-Smith, 2017

 

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      Iraq

      Lemiya, 18, an Oxfam Community Health Promoter. 'We...

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      Iraq

      Samira, 12, and her cousin, Yusra, 12, whose family...

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      Iraq

      Noura, 10, outside a makeshift IDP camp in the...

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      Iraq

      Hana, 18, an Oxfam Community Health Promoter a...

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      Iraq

      Jawar, 18, a Community Health Promoter teaching the...

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      Iraq

      Fatima, 30, with her daughter Sara, eight, outside a...

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      Iraq

      Jamila Hamid, 52, at her home in...

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      Iraq

      Fatima Mahmoud, 38, with her sons Ali and Mohammed...

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      Iraq

      Ahlam Abbas, 26, with her children in the Hassan Sham...

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      Iraq

      Jamila Hamid (R), 52, with her mother Yasmine Jasem...

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      Iraq

      Neda Mohammed, 42, with one of her daughter Fatima,...

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      Iraq

      Sisters Hadjar, 10, and Fatima, 7 who are from Hai...

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      Iraq

      Yusra Abdullah, 23, with her children in the old...

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      Iraq

      Faitha, 39, an IDP in an old chicken barn. She is...

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      Iraq

      Amina Hakim Ahmed with daughter Seja, 10, in their...

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      Iraq

      Habiya Khalaf with daughter Bedi, eight, in their...

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      Iraq

      Amal Hassan (name changed), 36, with two of her...

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      Iraq

      Asmar Nouri Hamadi, with her child in their section...

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      Iraq

      Yusnita Mohammed, 39, at her home Bashir village....

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      Iraq

      Yusnita Mohammed, 39, at her home Bashir village....

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      Iraq

      Maha Khaf, 27, an IDP with five children. She says:...

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      Iraq

      Najma Salar, 40, says: "I don't want to remember ISIS...

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      Iraq

      Sheema Mohammed, 18, with her mother Rsliah Hussein,...

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      Iraq

      Samira Leylan, 50, at her home in Bashir...

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      Iraq

      Salaha Mohmammed, 53, with Manar, five, outside a...

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      Iraq

      Najala Ahmed Ali with some of her children in their...

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      Iraq

      Zahida Salim with her son Mahmoud Ahmed, 19, and...

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      Iraq

      Zainab, 25, Hana, 14, and Sana, 34, at a school which...

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      Iraq

      A woman in the village of Hadj Ali which was...

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      Iraq

      An IDP woman and her two children in a private house...

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      Iraq

      A group of siblings and their grandmother inside...

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      Iraq

      Thana Abdulah, 42, with her children inside their...

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      Iraq

      Yusra, 12, whose family lives right next door to a...

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      Iraq

      Hana Ahmed and her children who arrived at Hasan Sham...

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