Haifa Zangana, a former political prisoner of the Ba'ath regime, presents the first comprehensive history of women in modern Iraq through the US occupation. Positioning Iraqi women today in a long line of daring and vocal activists resisting foreign aggression and despotism, Zangana traces this lineage from the emergence of a handful of turn-of-the-century poets to women's mass membership in politically affiliated women's leagues, and finally confronts the paradox of women's rising status under decades of repressive Ba'ath rule, when they were the most educated in the Arab world.
Zangana contradicts the passive role into which Western media have cast Iraqi women and presents a forceful critique of foreign women's organizations' attempts to hijack the initiatives of Iraqi women. Addressing the stark realities of Iraq today, Zangana reveals Baghdad as a "city of widows," where more than 300,000 women have been left to head households. Just as the sanctions disproportionately affected women and children, the war and occupation have destroyed their way of life. In the rebuilding of Iraq, as so often before, Zangana suggests, Iraqi women will be left to pick up the pieces of their country after yet another senseless imperial adventure. - Source: Powell's Books