At the shelter, the women receive medical and psychosocial support. In addition, OWFI is offering basic literacy and sewing classes to help the women and girls recover from their trauma. According to Yanar Mohammed, president of OWFI, the survivors are suffering a great deal of trauma and will need significant time to recover.
Established in 2003, OWFI provides grassroots protection, and legal services as well as national level advocacy for Iraqi women’s rights. The organization also runs Al-Mousawat radio station and newspaper. Through the radio and newspaper OWFI provides information about resources for women and promotes women’s rights.
Yazidis are an ethnic and religious minority living in Kurdistan, the northern tip of Iraq. Their distinct religious belief system has made them a target for ISIS. The UN reported in August 2014 that around 40,000 Yazidis, among them many women and children, had been stuck in a mountain in Sinjar, in north west of Iraq, as they were taking refuge from ISIS.
Shelter for Young Yazidi Victims of ISIS Now Open, The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, 19 March 2016.
OWFI Statement,Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), 19 March 2016.
Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq,Culture of Resistance Network.