Fern Holland Award, 2014
“I have suffered the disadvantage of being ‘just a woman’ in Iraq. I am convinced that peace and democracy cannot thrive until women’ s freedom – freedom from violence and freedom of opportunity – is restored. Now is the time to learn from the mistakes of years past, and move forward.”
Suaad Allami created Iraq’ s first legal aid clinic for women. Just northeast of Baghdad, in the dangerous area of Sadr City, Suaad’ s clinic offers free representation and critical information about women’ s rights in cases of divorce, custody and gender-based violence. Suaad and her team are focused on holistic support and provide free healthcare and vocational training.
Many don’ t agree with what Suaad is doing, and they have ways of letting her know. But constant threats and intimidation won’ t deter her. Suaad is resolved to do her part to reintegrate women into Iraqi society and engage their talent to rebuild a better nation.