Solidarity with Iraqi and Kurdish women trade unionists

The TUC carries this report of a trade union womens visit to Britain. The aim of the visit is set out as follows: The TUC believes strongly that womens participation in public life, and in particular in trade unions, is vital to the development of a free, democratic and open society. Given the fact that Iraqi/Kurdish women today make up half of Iraq’s population and some 35% of the workforce (in some industries, they are the majority, including some parts of heavy industry as a result of the need to draft women into the labour force to replace men sent to the front or killed during Iraq’s bloody war with Iran) they are a key part of the development of Iraq’s pluralist polity and social stability. Releasing their potential and freeing them from the shackles of outdated cultural tribal customs and traditions will not only benefit Iraqi/Kurdish women but will help Iraq’s development and prosperity. For without their active participation Iraq will suffer huge social and economic deficit and probably prolonged political instability.