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Document Type

Research

Abstract

After the Iraqi government was established in 1921, it had a little problem receiving a sufficient quantity of high-quality water from the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. However, the upstream countries of Turkey, Syria, and Iran soon built dams and canal on the shared rivers in the latter half of the 20th century. Furthermore, engaged in prolonged military conflicts such as the Iranian-Iraq War of the 1980s, the Gulf War of the 1990s, the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the ongoing ISIS occupation in the region, Iraq’s political, economic, and social infrastructures have been crippled in the wake of hastily set up regimes, leading to the bombing of urban infrastructure. This bombing has devastated Iraq’s water system to the point of near destruction. In other words, upstream states’ water policies and armed conflicts have led to much of Iraq’s water resources and infrastructure either getting distracted or destroyed. As a result, individuals suffer from a lack of access to clean water and sanitation, and this has been made worse for some vulnerable groups such as women to feel the impacts of water scarcity acutely. Regardless, women’s access to safe and clean water in Iraq is exponentially becoming a crisis within a crisis. These circumstances have resulted in socio-economic instability, which with many conflicts has disproportionately affected both women and minority groups. As a result, these vulnerable groups face a plethora of human rights abuses, such as attacks on personal security, labour rights, economic rights, access to healthcare, and access to public education.

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